• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Carol Ann Duffy

Extracts from this document...


Analyse selected poems by Carol Ann Duffy which explore the past, commenting on ways in which this theme is conveyed. Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow in 1955; a majority of her poems are autobiographical and are very much linked to her childhood. I have very fond memories of my childhood and so I have chosen to look more closely at, "Before you were mine", which I feel has very clear meaning of the feeling and her affection she showed for her mother. Duffy goes ob and imagines her mother's life before she was bought into the world and expresses how she would have loved to be one of her friends. I will also analyse "Mrs Tilcher's class" which shows many fond memories of childhood, particularly Duffy's last year in junior school. This would have been around the time of the mid 1960's. Before you were mine is written in the first person "I." As if Duffy is chatting to her mother. Many of the phrases begin with "I" as if Duffy wanted to make her existence known long before she was actually born. ...read more.


There are dreams of romance and love. Duffy is almost warning her mother before her birth, "I'm not here yet" to let her know that the fun will be over when she arrives with her "possessive yell." In the third stanza, Duffy talks about her Mother's red shoes, these have presumably been used for dressing up and playing in as "relics". They are no longer used for there originally purpose which was to go out and enjoy yourself. Though no longer since Duffy's arrival into the world. A powerful simile is used next "clear as scent" she can picture her mother "under the tree, with its lights". The memory is as dramatic as a well-known smell. In the fourth stanza "stamping the stars from the wrong pavement", this seems to mean that if her mother had taken a different path in life, who knows where she may have ended up. Carol Ann Duffy is full of fondness and respect for her mother. Since becoming a mother herself Duffy can really relay the sacrifices one has to make when taking on the task of parenthood. ...read more.


This would have soon been forgotten within the security of the classroom. She uses a simile here "Faded, like the faint, uneasy smudge of a mistake." By the time we reach the third stanza the mood has changed and innocence is beginning to disappear. This is when the realisation of the truth about growing up becomes apparent. "The inky tadpoles changed, from commas to exclamation marks." This could represent the shift from childhood to adolescence. "A rough boy told you how you were born." This is later confirmed as being true by Mrs Tilcher's avoidance to the answer when questioned "how you were born." She just smiles and turns away. In the final stanza there is a sense of need to be grown up, but a feeling of anxiety looms as Duffy is unsure of what the future holds. Feverish July is used as personification to describe the hot, sweaty mood of a teenager. There is impatience and touchiness with the rush of hormones and physical changes that are taking place in the change from childhood to adolescence. Having seen Carol Ann Duffy at Poetry live I thoroughly enjoyed both of these poems and can relate to many experiences described in them. I particularly enjoyed In Mrs Tichler's class as it bought back happy memories of junior school. BY KERRY BROWNE ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How Does Carol Ann Duffy Present The Theme Of Being Misplaced In The Dolphins(TM) ...

    3 star(s)

    Muslims in this society had many problems adapting to the disjointed fundamentals at the time. In the sixth verse, reference is made to the fact that "Some of them wear turbans in class" and that it was hard not to make fun of them.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Analysis of the poem "Originally" by Carol Ann Duffy

    3 star(s)

    This allows for a time skip to take place into a time when she is more mature and able to reflect upon the journey easily, although with some regret. This is expressed through rhetorical questions beginning with the use of 'Do I only think,' in line 20, which builds up an atmosphere of longing and wistfulness.

  1. Mrs Beast - Carol Ann Duffy

    In my opinion I think that this is Duffy using visual imagery to describe how women are caught by men or otherwise caught up by men in there own selfish ways. However some critics may argue that the meaning of this is literal also the whole visual image gives a

  2. Free essay

    Carol Ann Duffy explores the theme of childhood. Discuss in reference to at least ...

    The captains memories portray childhood as the best time of his life. In his childhood he felt hat he was destined to be great, but as the poem shows he has become nothing of importance. The poem shows the man who was once captain of the 'top of the form team' living an unsatisfying life.

  1. "In Mrs. Tilscher's Class" by Carol Ann Duffy deals with one central theme. ...

    The stanzas are also bleaker in description and imagery is uninviting: "The air tasted of electricity." The poet's feelings in stanza four are troubled, after being introduced to topic of how she was born: "A tangible alarm made you always untidy, hot, fractious under the heavy, sexy sky."

  2. A Critical Analysis of Carol Ann Duffy's 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class'

    The final metaphor is that of, 'the sky split open', the sky splits, just like a crack in a bowl, and everyone is oblivious to what is going to come next. I find that this is the most effective of the metaphors as it is true.

  1. Subject and theme:about rites of passage, the transition from childhood to the adult world, ...

    It is rather like finding out that there is no Father Christmas; life is, and never can be, quite the same again. The last verse is threatening, as is the future the children face. The month is "feverish"; again, the feelings of the children are transferred to something else: in this case, the month (another transferred epithet).

  2. Before You Were Mine by Carol Ann Duffy is an affectionate poem, essentially about ...

    The element of jealousy comes out in these words. The daughter may not intend it, but she seems to feel jealous and a little annoyed that her mother is having all this fun sans her. This emotion is similar to when a mother leaves her toddler at home and goes out to meet her friends.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work