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

Compare and contrast "Recognition" and "Moments of Grace" by Carol Ann Duffy.

Extracts from this document...


Elizabeth Morgan. Compare and contrast "Recognition" and "Moments of Grace" by Carol Ann Duffy. The poem "Recognition" is about the inevitable march of time, in which we learn that we are not what we once were. Food in the poem becomes the stimulus for the poem, as she looks at it in the ordinary everyday sense; it projects her back into the past. It reminds her of what she was, compared to what she now is. The first stanza voices regret in that time has passed and she didn't realise, and now it's too late. She realises that she stopped making the effort, and now there's not enough time left for her. She has achieved what was expected of her, three children, and now she spends the rest of her life providing for her children. She voices regret and abandonment at the fact that her children now have their own lives and don't need her so much anymore. In the second stanza, 'Years' voices another sense of regret at a lifetime of missed opportunities. She regrets things she's not done and for what she's missed out on in life. She says 'I strain to remember a time when my body felt lighter' and this is true for so many people. ...read more.


'It did happen' is the recognition of the past, that at one time she was happy. The last stanza is the ultimate recognition for her. She bumps into a mirror and stares at 'an anxious, dowdy matron' which is the person she has now become. She says 'I'm sorry sorry sorry' because she had thought she was someone else, and that the future would be better for her, but it's not. By the end of the poem, the woman has recognised what she has become and the distance she's travelled between what she was told and what she has and has not achieved. "Moments of Grace" is a reflective poem, where she is looking back at her life. The poem is rooted on a journey, in which the past makes her recognise that she's happy in the present. The poem is told through a series of sustained recollections and dreams of the past and what was. She describes a 'wordless' state, which can be linked to the fourth stanza, in which she claims that actions, such as kissing the back of the neck, are worth more than words like I love you. 'Grace' comes from God in Heaven, and so 'Moments of grace' are described as beautiful moments which bring her relaxation. ...read more.


'Passing, you kiss the back of my neck. A blessing.' Due to the spontaneity, this simple act means more to her than actual words and the unexpected is better. The 'blessing' suspends the religious metaphor. This becomes a moment of grace, a blessing from God, and a celebration of love. The poem is made universal because we all want to love and be loved, and for her, the kiss on the back of the neck is a moment of grace, a blessing from God. The poem is structured so that she realises the present. The noun that she becomes is a lover, and so her verb in the past is still her verb now - to love and be loved. "Recognition" and "Moments of Grace" show contrasting views of the past and the present. In "Recognition" the past is better than the present. She feels she has missed many opportunities in her lifetime and the world of opportunity which she once had has now gone, and she is left to accept her role as a middle-aged, abandoned mother and a provider of the family. In "Moments of Grace" the present is better than the past, in the fact that, although the past held more chances and the possibility for anything, and growing old stifles memories, her present state is one of content and happiness in knowing that the intimacy and love is still alive in her life. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry 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 GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. By close study of Valentine and I Wouldnt Thank You for a Valentine, show ...

    But also, it allows Lochhead to bluntly say what she wants, in a way that suits her. In modern day rap music, there is little or no censorship on what some artists will say. Some love poems did have a musical quality to them and could be songs, but that was never done on purpose.

  2. Carol Ann Duffy - 'Valentine' and 'Before You Were Mine'

    and "Before You Were Mine" is very caring, and through this poem the poet expresses her never ending love for her mother, but clearly in 'Valentine' the poet is demonstrating that real love has escaped her. Both poems are full of imagery giving the reader visions of how it may

  1. Compare Carrol Ann Dufy to Andrew Marvell

    It makes a peculiar picture form in your head and there is a lot of confusion because an onion is a raw vegetable which is not very tasty, it does not cost very much and is a very weird thing to give to somebody as a present.

  2. Critical review of Carol Ann Duffy's poem 'Mean Time'.

    In the second stanza there are many connotations of words which describe the narrator's emotions. First of all the 'unmendabl rain' which is symbolizing the woman's lack of ability to stop crying. Next Duffy describes her heart 'gnawing' on the 'bleak streets' which gives us a miserable and depressing feeling of emotion which the narrator is going through.

  1. Compose and Contrast the two heroes in ‘The Sextons Hero’ by Elizabeth Gaskell and ...

    to prove his courage in his two greatest things in his love for Letty by saving her and by his faith by forgiving the Sexton even though the Sexton was ridiculed him and essentially destroyed his life. Old Mrs Chundle I am secondly going to look at the story 'Old

  2. Comparing and Contrasting Poetry

    Just from one word, e.g. 'sunrise', we can immediately conjure up many words and images linked with it. It puts an intensely clear image in our mind. By seeing these images, my understanding of the poems becomes clearer. Nichols compares her mother to images that are distinctive and colourful.

  1. I am going to compare three different poems: "My Box" by Gillian Clarke, "Valentine" ...

    Therefore the black books are to be read by people so they'll know how much the couples devotion and love for each other. 'I leave it there for you to read, or them, when we are dead, � the 'you� mentioned in the line is directed to her husband, and

  2. Valentineby Carol Ann Duffy and "One Flesh" by Elizabeth Jennings.

    The word 'shrink' describes how the layers of the onion get smaller whole 'loops' are circles. Circles are eternal : they have no start nor end and represent how love should be infinite. 'Wedding-ring" is a final promise lovers will make to one another when getting married and the 'ring' is the representation of their promises for each forever.

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