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What have you found interesting or enjoyable about the ways Duffy writes about the past in her poems?

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Introduction

What have you found interesting or enjoyable about the ways Duffy writes about the past in her poems? In many of the poems Duffy writes about the past, and often the tone is of regret. In the poem 'Brothers' it begins reminiscing about the good times with the personas brothers. I believe the persona is Duffy herself. In italics it says 'Theres no way in the creation...'. This quote may not make much sense to us, but it seems to be a personal joke she had once shared with her brothers. She then goes on to describe her brothers when they were younger describing them 'as 'an alter boy,a boy practising scales...'. The tone of this list is very conversational as there are many pauses due to the commas; this enables the reader to see the persona is remecising and almost talking to themselves about their brothers.It also sets the context of the poem as it is not describing the modern vday. ...read more.

Middle

The ending of this poem is rather ambiguous as it states 'I shall pay for a box and watch them shoulder it'. This could either mean pay for her mother's coffin or pay for her own; either thought is rather morbid so leaves the reader with the impression that the personas childhood was not so happy. This dramatic monologue gives the reader insight to the poem as it is personal to the persona. This poem has 4 stanzas, all of which are four lines long. This corresponds with the number of brothers, 'these four men', that Duffy talks about in the poem. The poem 'Nostalgia' immediately gives the reader an idea of the theme of the poem, which is a longing for the past and homesickness. The persona claims 'it made them ill' which immediately tells the reader about the physical effects of nostalgia. The repetition of 'Wrong' in this poem emphasises the fact that this place is not home or comfortable for the people. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Our' is used throughout the poem, which emphasises the togetherness of the couple. Personification is used as a tool to show the difference in times,'Two childhoods stand in the corner of the bedroom'. This suggests the two personas knew each other as children. It then goes on to say 'watching the way we take each others clothes off'. By juxtaposing the past and the present in the same sentence, Duffy creates a sense of innocence in the affair. Duffy uses a very artistic colourful way of describing a sexual scene between the two lovers...'You have me like a drawing, erased, coloured in, untitled, signed by your tongue. This suggests that one has ownership of the other. Duffy uses a convention of the cinema when insinuating the couple have had sex. 'A cigarette smoke itself'. This is a clever way of telling the reader what the couple have just done without being crude. The ending line of the poem is 'They know who we are'. I think this is addressing the 'Ghosts of ourselves 'which is them in their childhood, their past selves. ...read more.

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