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A Commentary on “Standing Female Nude”

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A Commentary on "Standing Female Nude" The poem "Standing Female Nude" by Carol Ann Duffy deals is written from the view of a nude female model who is having a painting drawn of her, and the model's rationale for why she is there and how she feels towards the whole event. The main themes which appear in the poem are that of the narrator's character which is goes into quite some detail during the poem, and that of the distance the narrator feels towards the artistic world. The narrator's character is by far the most important part of the poem as it is written in the first person. From the poem it is clear that the poem is set in France, due to the constant use of French words such as "Madame" or "bourgeoisie". The modelling seems to be taking place next to a river as the narrator calls herself in the painting a "river-whore". This setting next to a river is most certainly in an urban most likely run down part of a city, as firstly the painting would take place in the artists studio and that they are "both poor". ...read more.


The description of a "river-whore" is very odd, as it would have been presumed that the artist is merely doing a still life of her, so to describe oneself as a "river-whore" would lead you to believe that she is a whore of sorts. The narrator adds a lot of innuendo in her train of thought, saying about the artist "little man, you've not the money for the arts I sell." In the second stanza the narrator shows her boredom through the fact that her mind wanders onto the tea leaves "In the tea-leaves I can see the Queen of England". To the model the tea leaves are directly associated with England, therefore following on to the quintessential image of England, the Queen. This reference to the queen may give a clue as to what period the poem is placed in, as it could mean Queen Victoria, although this is only a guess. The other main issue in the poem is that of the difference between the narrator and the whole artistic movement. ...read more.


This method of writing means that there is not going to be a lot of linguistic devices as this is just her train of thought rather than a well crafted piece of writing. There are some stylistic devices such as the list of three "belly nipple arse". There is also a lot of enjambment but that is to keep the movement of the piece flowing so that it seems more like a steady stream of consciousness. In conclusion it is clear that the narrator does not care much about how she is perceived and how other people view her and is a very independent woman, as she does not care what the painting looks like "It does not look like me". Also the way she describes how she shall be viewed "analytically" and how "the bourgeoisie will coo". On the whole the narrator is very scathing towards the type of life that the artist lives, and being involved in artistic circles. When in fact the model/narrator is as dependent on the artist as he is on her, and without each other they would both have nothing "Both poor, we make our living how we can". ?? ?? ?? ?? Michael Vanderburgh ...read more.

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