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Childhood and Memories poetry.

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Essay - Childhood and Memories poetry Carol Ann Duffy was born in 1955 and has four brothers; she grew up in Staffordshire with a strong religious upbringing. At fourteen she decided to become a poet and has written ever since. A lot of her works look at growing up and past experiences especially from childhood. Most of these poems are published in her 1993 book of poetry, "Mean Time". I am going to concentrate on five of her poems; "The Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team", "Litany", "Stafford Afternoons", "Brothers" and "Prayer". One of the most obvious points that stand out in all of Duffy's poems is religion and it isn't surprising having gone to catholic schools since the age of seven! The poem "Litany" has a clear religious meaning with the title having Christian references; a litany in the church is a list of people who the congregation pray for in a time of need. By Litany, I believe that Carol Ann Duffy is actually trying to portray the things that really stood out in her childhood, a good example of this could be the first litany in the poem, "candlewick bedspread three piece suite display cabinet". ...read more.


In "Brothers", Carol Ann Duffy uses another sense; hearing to emphasis her mothers repetitive comments about children and her wishes to be a grandmother but then finding out that Duffy was a lesbian. I believe that the phase "I hear her life in the words" obviously this is a turning point in Duffy's life; telling your mother your gay isn't the easiest thing in the world! And the use of senses here shows how much this experience really did stand out. These two examples are quite obvious but the final one is a little more subtle. It is again in Litany and is synaesthesia, it mixes more than one sense, Duffy explains how a butterfly moves into her hands, "a butterfly stammered into my curious hands" here the two senses being used are touch, the butterfly crawling onto her hands and voice in the word stammering it is a piece of onomatopoeia. Synaesthesing allows the audience to imagine one thing, in this case someone stammering and put it into another situation, a butterfly crawling and flapping its wings. This gives the all important realistic picture. ...read more.


My second example isn't a play but "The soundtrack" the literal meaning is the litany's read in church and how much they were repeated but again it could be seen as the soundtrack to life. On a more morbid note, Carol Ann Duffy also looks at death and endings. In "Brothers" Duffy refers to "a box" and her brothers will "shoulder it" we can make the assumption that the box is actually a coffin and maybe even her mothers. This reference to death s important because as kids, children don't believe death will ever happen to them and they may not even comprehend the full meaning of it and this poem sees Duffy come to terms with the end of life, an important step in growing up. The second reference is to the end of the world, in "Prayer" she writes four of the shipping forecast areas, this has a soporific effect but she chooses a very important area and this contrasts against the happy sleepy mood; "Finisterre" means the end of the world and this is actually quite a strange end to the poem. In conclusion Duffy uses various ways to get through her life but the most important one is the actual writing of her poems, they allow her to convey her feelings through imagery and emotive language. ...read more.

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