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Compare and contrast 'Originally' and 'Lanarkshire Girls' by Carol- Ann Duffy and Liz Lochhead

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Introduction

Duffy and Lochhead both write about journeys. Compare and contrast two poems, one by each poet, taking account of the methods (situation, form and structure, and language, including imagery and tones) which each poet uses to write about her mother. The poems ?Originally? by Carol-Ann Duffy and ?Lanarkshire Girls? by Liz Lochhead both deal with the theme of journeys. The former poem is about a situation in which the speaker and her family moved cities. It describes the speaker?s uncertainty with regards to her identity. The second poem, ?Lanarkshire Girls? recalls the first time the speaker as a fourteen year old took the bus into the city of Glasgow with her friends. For both the speakers, the journey and experience are new to them. They both share similar environments in which they travel, with the speaker in ?Originally? riding in a ?red room? and the speaker in ?Lanarkshire Girls? travelling in a ?red bus?. In exploiting the colour red, the poets may be conveying a sense of anxiety that accompanies the speakers on their unfamiliar journeys. ...read more.

Middle

The first stanza describes the journey through the eyes of the speaker as a child, the second takes a generic view of childhood overall and considers it metaphorically, and the third is from the speaker?s perspective again, this time as an adult who is still struggling with her identity. Similarly, ?Lanarkshire Girls? is arranged into three stanzas, however, each with a different number of lines, the poem is in free verse. This is to accommodate the anecdotal style of the poem. The poet arranges this poem into three stanzas to represent the three different stages of the journey, the first as the speaker is leaving the rural country-side, the second deals with the approach to the city, and the third describes the city of Glasgow itself. Both poets use enjambment in their work however; the technique is employed to give different effects. In ?Originally? it is used to represent the flow of the journey as they, ?fell through the fields?. On the other hand, enjambment is used in ?Lanarkshire Girls? to represent the speaker?s awe as she tries to take in everything she sees. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is possible that the poet is describing the fight between nature and industrialisation here. Both poets use colloquial language in their poems which makes the reader feel more connected with the speaker. In ?Originally?, the speaker uses the word, ?skelf? in place of ?splinter?, this shows us that although she is uncertain of her identity, her Scottish roots still show through even though she has adapted saying, ?my voice/ in the classroom sounding just like the rest.? Lochhead uses the phrase, ?chucked hard wee balls? which shows the speaker?s rural accent. The poems have two very different tones. The tone throughout ?Originally? is sad, ?My brothers cried, one bawling home?, melancholy, ?I want our own country?, and uncertain, ?Where do you come from?/ strangers ask. Originally? And I hesitate?. To counter this, the tone in ?Lanarkshire Girls? begins impatient and ?annoyed?, before succumbing to adoration, shown through the use of plosive verbs, ?glamorous Gallowgate? and ?proud pubs?, before finishing with excitement, ?it/ spilled us out? dreaming ourselves up,/ with money burning a hole in our pockets.? Each poet speaks about a journey, however, the journey in ?Originally? is painful and permanent with the journey in ?Lanarkshire Girls? exciting and temporary. ...read more.

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