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

Comparing Before You Were Mine by Carol Ann Duffy with * by Simon Armitage.

Extracts from this document...


Comparing Before You Were Mine by Carol Ann Duffy with * by Simon Armitage There are many similarities and also many differences between the poems, Before You Were Mine by Carol Ann Duffy and * by Simon Armitage. Both poems are about the relationship between a mother and her child. The gender of the child is not specified in either of the poems but we assume that the main character in Before You Were Mine is a little girl and in * it is a young man. Because the main character's 'assumed' gender is the same as the poets, the poems could have been written about the poets own childhood and relationship with their mothers. Neither of the poems can be fully understood at a first reading and need to be studied in depth to get their full meaning, especially in *. The title, Before You Were Mine suggests that the poem is about what happened before the (mother) belonged to the child. ...read more.


The child in Before You Were Mine knows she has changed her mother's glamorous life forever but never blames herself. On the other hand, she is very possessive over her mother, 'mine', as is she is her property. *is different because it about a young man, perhaps moving out of his mother's house, into a new house. His mother is helping him to measure it up, which is usually the role the father takes. The poem uses a mixture of metric and imperial measures such as acres, centimetres, single span and one-hundredth of an inch as moving into a new house could represent moving into a new time. The mother uses imperial measurements where as the son uses metric measurements. The tape is also very significant and used to show the 'unreeling years between them'. Simon Armitage mixes the past and present. Before You Were Mine talks about what the mum was like before she had her daughter. It mentions her name and explores time, using the past and present. ...read more.


Kite.' Anchors fall, but kites fly. This could represent the choice of carrying on living, 'fly' or stopping/dying, 'fall'. The language of both poems is simple, especially in Before You Were Mine as a child has written it, and a variety of sentence lengths are used, from ones which last almost the whole of the stanza to simple sentences like 'Marilyn' and 'Kite'. The language in Before You Were Mine is possessive and chatty, 'The decade ahead of my long, possessive yell was the best one, eh?' and we are made to use our voices in 'Cha cha cha!'. However, there is no mention of possession in *, and the language is more formal, describing what is happening in measurements as it is narrated by a young man. Both poems have a little bit of sadness as the mother's have given up their happiness to care for their child, but Before You Were Mine has a much happier mood as it is written by a child and gives lovely images of 'fizzy, movie tomorrows', where as in * there are just empty rooms and endless skies to picture. By Jenny Hall, 10T ...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. English Literature Comparing Poems

    In Carol Ann Duffy's 'Before You Were Mine' the poem starts off with 'I'm' indicating that the poem is personal as 'I'm' is a first person pronoun. In the first line of the poem Duffy begins with a metaphor 'ten years away from the corner'.

  2. Critical Analysis of "Before You Were Mine" by Carol Ann Duffy.

    is a major theme of the poem, and "one, eh?" in line 13 contains the end of the mother's fun filled youth and a word that indicates her current relationship with her daughter. "sweetheart?" in line 18 emphasizes the beginning of the mother's 'sexual' relationships.

  1. Explore the techniques used by Carol Ann Duffy to create contrasting "voices" by comparing ...

    the impression that the character is very direct not only in his conversations with people but with his whole out look to life. Words such as "Mother fucker" are swear words, but when used in this context in the play it gives a depth to the character.

  2. Compare and contrast the poems 'I remember, I remember' and 'to the virgins to ...

    The tone in "to the virgins, to make much of time" is written formally. The poem has a sense of simplicity to it as the poet issues us with instructions like 'gather ye rosebuds, while ye can' and 'be not coy' because if you do he warns us 'you may

  1. Before you were mine by Carol Ann Duffy

    She mixes up the past with the present because she shows her mother's responsible character and then suddenly brings us back to the time when her mother was rebellious; "Whose small bites on your neck, sweetheart?" The title is ironic because it should normally associate the baby with the mother, not the mother with the baby.

  2. Analysis of 'Before You Were Mine'

    Marilyn?, referring to the film star. Duffy perceives recklessness and contentment, idealising and applying an imaginative image of what her mother was like from the famous photograph of Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch standing on the grid, revealing her legs, introducing a sexual element.

  1. Carol Ann Duffy Shooting Stars Analysis

    What happens next is devastating. The persona tells how ?her bare feet felt the earth and urine trickled down my legs until I heard the click. Not yet. A trick.? Duffy shows how it?s almost as if the soldiers were playing a game, mocking the persona and thriving off how weak she is.

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

    The child tends to feel left out. The narrator gives us a picture of her mother's social life, where she would dance the night away with 'the thousand eyes' that could be a metaphor for the giant disco ball or maybe for the onlookers in the ballroom.

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