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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Name: Ben Gibb Teacher: Mrs. Sell Draft for 'Mean Time' Carol Ann Duffy's poem 'Mean Time' is about loss of love and the different ways in which time brings about change or loss of life itself. The poem is very personal and autobiographical to Duffy's life as are most of her poems. 'Mean Time' is based on mourning your lost love and how regrets seem meaningless when one day you get up and realise its not just time which has passed you by, but time has stolen your life too, and in the end it will only be the mourning that you regret. The idea of time and how it is finite is one of the main themes in the poem. The title 'Mean Time' could be emphasising a few points one of which is how time can be 'mean' when one needs a few moments to reflect on their thoughts, so in result ' the effects of time can be mean'. The first line in the opening stanza, conveys one of the themes in the poem 'the clocks slid back an hour' here Duffy is using sibilance, to show an image of the clocks sneakily sliding back as it steals 'light from' her life. ...read more.

Middle

One of the last important themes of 'Mean Time' is conveyed in the final stanza, this is how time is finite 'we will be dead' because death is rapidly approaching everyone, which highlights the fact that mourning is pointless. This is where the reader can relate to Duffy because they can share their 'mistakes' too because the events in the poem can happen to all most anybody. I believe that Duffy's conclusion is do not let your heart take control of your life, you need to no when to move on. The language throughout is very calm and well organised which helps to emphasises the realism of the poem, but additionally it also shows that the narrator can accept what has happened even though she regrets it. The language creates a lot of emotional images and never any anger, which is surprising. The form and structure of 'Mean time' shape the meanings of the poem, as it goes from stanza to stanza; it is emphasising life as a whole. First your relationship breaks up and your grieve your loss. ...read more.

Conclusion

With both of these poems Duffy manages to take us inside relationships, which are both female affairs. Similar the language in both poems explore longing, death and love, 'mean time' describes how time is finite, and before you no it you will be 'dead', additionally 'Valentine' describes the harsh elements of love it will bring grief and tears. Further more another poem which also emphasises the harshness of love is 'Havisham' the language is this poem is similar to the previous poems, in tone and emotion. The poem is again from a woman's perspective; she claims how she got stood up on her wedding day by her 'beloved sweetheart bastard'. The poem is more complex than the other two mainly because of the gap in time they were written. Similar to 'Mean Time', the poem shows how the woman cannot move on, she also is mourning her loss, ''not a day since then I haven't wished him dead' the narrator is finding it hard to move on she longs for 'sweet' revenge. All of these poems narrators are finding it hard to move on they are all blinded by 'heartache' and seem to have loss any sense of life and how precious it can be. Words: 1160 ...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. In "Valentine", Duffy uses the onion to give an original and, in some ways, ...

    Because an onion has a fierce and tangy taste similar to a passionate lover, who has a fierce kiss. The 's' sounds may suggest a sinister-like mood, or can even sound like a couple kissing. Additionally, as much as the form and structure is of importance, so is the historical context.

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

    The two poems are very different to each other. As I mentioned before, 'Before You Were Mine' was based on a mutual relationship between mother and daughter whilst 'Valentine' is about a love relationship that has gone horribly wrong and has left one of the lovers stranded in an emotional and desperate state.

  1. Old age can be a sad and lonely time or it can be a ...

    She feels she will get away with doing these things, as she will have natural excuses. People will ignore her mistakes and outrageous behavior due to the fact she is old. Hence she wants to rebel against images, saving money and acting mature.

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

    Duffy is using imagery here, with her handing the onion over to her significant other and saying "Here" as an imperative command. When we peel onions, our eyes tend to water, with the scent that the onion gives out. In the same way, in a relationship, tears tend to be

  1. Visiting hour

    Up until he sees his relative lying in the hospital bed he has been brave and preoccupied in trying to hide his feelings. But by writing this his individuality and his determination not to show his feelings is lost as he can't cope with this amount of pain.

  2. Love poem comparisons

    This contrasts to 'A woman to her lover' because Walsh is rebelling towards love. 'How I love thee?' talks about how deep and strong Browning's love is whereas 'A woman to her lover' is more confident and wants her love to appreciate her.

  1. Compare Carrol Ann Dufy to Andrew Marvell

    She implies that love isn't always sweet and has sharp and cutting edges that can result in tears, just like the scent and taste of an onion. Throughout the poem Duffy uses the line "I am trying to be truthful" which explains the negative images and her mixed feelings.

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

    The poet outlines her parents' bedroom and how they lie in bed together "strangely apart and strangely close together". They are uneasy in their relationship because "they hardly ever touch" and yet they are not comfortable any other way either, as the intimate side of their marriage has decreased.

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