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GCSE: Carol Ann Duffy
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In 'Frau Freud' the poem contains a list of euphemism for penises that men use. Duffy or Frau Freud uses these synonyms to completely debunk Freud theories with this list that brings the readers attention to Freud's theories of the male obsession with the penis. The women in the two poems both enjoy sex, Anne Hathaway comments on how she and her husband shared their love with their actions and words. In 'Frau Freud' she also says that she enjoys sex "I'm as au fait with hunt-the-salami/as Ms M. Lewinsky" Another similarity between the two poems is that they are both written in sonnet form.
- Word count: 1019
The two Duffy poems I have chosen to compare the way she presents the speaker's relationship with the person she is speaking to are 'Havisham' and 'Elvis' Twin Sister'. 'Havisham' is in a form of a monologue.
She states 'beloved sweetheart bastard' which is an oxymoron meaning an apparent contradiction for example loving hate. She uses words to describe her bitter and angry tone such as 'bastard', 'strangle', 'Nooooo' and also 'bang'. Duffy has used these words to make the readers aware of the anger that is going through this character. Duffy gives us an impression that the character does not like how she looks as she describes herself as a 'spinster' which is a female version of a bachelor. However if one calls a women a spinster it is in derogatory term meaning it is very offensive. She also states 'ropes on the back of my hands I could strangle with'.
- Word count: 700
An evaluation of TWO poems on the theme of 'outsider'- 'Education for leisure' by Carol Ann Duffy and 'Miracle on St David's Day' by Gillian Clarke.
This day is like any other day for the man because his life is filled with sadness. He feels uninspired and may feel frustrated due to the 'boredom'. He wants to destroy something, 'I am going to kill something.' This phrase is directly alerting the reader that the man is unstable and is enthusiastic to kill. He is too weak and defenceless to kill a living thing so he mentions of victimising an object. It also indicates that the poem is occurring in the present tense. Duffy has used this to add to the tension in the mind of the speaker.
- Word count: 2327
Duffy's poem Havisham is based on the character Miss Havisham from the famous novel "Great expectations
In this poem, Duffy creates images in the readers mind as well as feelings. "I've dark green pebbles for eyes." This is creating an image of darkness and hate; "Dark Green pebbles" Dark colours are associated with hate. This quote also creates a feeling of fear, because somebody with dark green pebbles as eyes would be classed as scary and harmful. This poem is full of different feelings and emotions, which Duffy is trying to get across to the reader. Most of the feelings in this poem are to do with Death, anger and destruction.
- Word count: 1027
In order to analyse their contrasting styles it would be beneficial to look at their backgrounds. Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1955 but was brought up in Stafford, England. She worked as a free-lance writer in East London, and then she moved to Manchester where she currently teaches creative writing at the Metropolitan University. Collections include "Standing Female Nude" and "Selling Manhattan". Liz Lochhead was also born in Scotland in 1947. She is a well-known Scottish poet, dramatist and performance artist. She began as a lecturer in fine art, but became a full time writer in the 70's.
- Word count: 1505
During this essay I will be exploring and comparing two of Carol Ann Duffy's poems, "Education for Leisure" and "Stealing
The character in the poem Education for Leisure is very egocentric, "I breathe out talent on the glass to write my name" this shows that he really believes that even the air he exhales is important enough to be classed as talent and he writes his name on it as if it was an autograph. He also says "I could be anything at all, with half a chance."
- Word count: 463
Consequently, Duffy gives the narrator a voice. In Simon Armitage's Hitcher, we see mainly basic English enhanced with some local 'lingo' and well known sayings. Often, the subject is using words taken from the mouth of the hitcher. This poem is written in first person, like in Stealing. Also, in Hitcher, the narrator uses plain English, which is very casual and almost conversational, although not to the extent of that in Stealing. For example, the subject uses the hitchers own words - "He was following the sun from east to west", but he also uses some slang - "I let him have it" - The style of language is quite basic.
- Word count: 1337
Compare the way in which poets create a threatening or menacing atmosphere in four poems. Write about 'Salome' by Carol Ann Duffy and compare it with one poem from Simon Armitage and two from the pre 1914 bank.
Words used such as 'colder' and 'dry' further establish a menacing atmosphere, and Carol Ann Duffy introduces very contemporary ideas and slang to the poem, such as cigarettes, and expressions such as 'turf out', 'booze' and 'ain't life a bitch'. There are internal rhymes throughout the stanzas, all with words with the suffix '-er'; for example, 'butter', 'clatter', 'clutter', 'patter' and 'batter' - all words that appear in the second stanza. Along with the general tone of the speaker, these rhymes create a black humour to the poem.
- Word count: 1706
The poem 'Mother, any distance...' explores the ideas of loss and change. Compare the ideas presented by Simon Armitage here with one poem my Carol Ann Duff and two from the pre-1914 bank.
These images of vast space indicate the speaker's excitement of leaving home, and it is here that the theme of change is first addressed within the poem. While the speaker's mother stands in the same place holding one end of the measuring tape 'recording length', i.e. taking responsibility, the speaker explores the house, 'reporting metres'. Here the speaker is made to still seem very young and not used to becoming completely independent, and is not completely sure of themselves; 'back to base', showing that they still return to their mother to make sure what they have done is right, looking for approval.
- Word count: 1838
How does the poem 'Stealing' create a sense of real person speaking? Does the reader have any sympathy for the character?
The use of the word 'unusual' is to get the reader's attention. It goes on further by saying what he stole 'A snowman', this is unusual which could show his madness. The next line sets the time, setting and atmosphere 'Midnight'. The character describes the snowman as 'Magnificent' it appeals to him so that he is filled with admiration. The reader at this point doesn't think that the character is dangerous but odd and unusual. The character then says he wants the snowman as 'a mate' this shows that he wants a friend.
- Word count: 1203
The wolf in this poem is portrayed to the reader as a 'good' character, and Little Red Cap as the 'sly' one who appears to know what she is doing in order to get what she wants. In the first stanza of the poem, Duffy starts off with the metaphor "At childhood's end". This portrays that childhood is so powerful it has been described as a physical place. The reader can picture this place clearly because of they way she has continued to describe the "houses petered out into playing fields" "...till you came at last to the edge of the woods".
- Word count: 1851
Duffy said of this collection "It's meant to be funny, but also has a darker side." How far do you agree with this assessment of 'The World's Wife"?
"Next day, I shopped. Clothes for my man, mainly, But one or two treats for myself from Bloomingdale's." The idea of a giant Gorilla in Bloomingdale's is obviously ridiculous, but Duffy presents it in a very flippant manner, almost as if it were an everyday occurrence. Another source of comedy within the poem is the way Duffy manages to invert the pet-owner relationship. Queen Kong appears to be in control of her human lover, despite her being an animal. Once again the surrealism of this idea creates a very comical situation for the reader. The comical overtones of the poem serve to mask the darker, and more grounded undertones.
- Word count: 713
A hundred agonies in black-and-white From which his editor will pick out five or six for Sunday's supplement. The reader's eyeballs prick with tears between the bath and pre-lunch beers. From the aeroplane he stares impassively where he earns his living and they do not care. Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow in 1955. She grew up in Staffordshire and went to university in Liverpool. Having spent some time in London as a freelance writer, she now lives in Manchester. She has won many prizes and several awards for her poetry. Her poems, she says, 'come from my everyday experience, my past/memory and my imagination.
- Word count: 923
All examples show that the character is tired of this world where he is alone and unhappy. But he gives himself what satisfaction he can by taking (stealing) the happiness of others. Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy as a poem, has similarities but also differences to Stealing. Instead of taking away another's joy, the character in Valentine is giving joy. The character in Valentine is not selfish; the character gives more rather than receives (steal). "Its scent will cling to your finger cling to your knife." An everlasting gift, to be remembered forever, to "cling" to your memories.
- Word count: 823
The bell ringing is a human sound. Laugh is positive and it associates with having fun. The poet does describe them well. The classroom was filled with decoration and then this is when the fun starts to end. A xylophones nonsense, someone is having fun it is not a tune. The inky tadpoles change into exclamation marks, this links them to be growing up. The children are more rood, "A rough boy told you how you were born" She imagines her mum with her legs wide open and thinks, is that were she comes from?
- Word count: 1214
Duffy sometimes creates a character for the speaker of her poem - What methods does she use to do this in valentine and before you were mine?
For her, the onion is the ultimate representation for both love and knowledge of what love is. It is the combinations of both pleasures and pains, both opposites that are equal in intensity and are entirely unavoidable in a relationship. An onion for her, avoids the sentimental simplification of a gift - "NOT a red rose or a satin heart" which makes love appear only sweet. She uses the use of not at the very beginning, to clarify and warn the reader what she is about to say is a negative rejection from the normal.
- Word count: 2356
The robber is isolated and alone " I wanted him as a mate". This shows he is alone, he has no friends or that there is no one to love him like a family member or a lover, this also has anti-social meaning. The only joy he gets out of ruining the snowman is he knows " children will cry in the morning, life's tough" I think that he is being sarcastic by saying "life's tough" I think he wants someone to understand the way he feels, because he has had a tough life and thinks it is unfair.
- Word count: 785
Compare how Attitudes to Life and People are Shown in "Stealing" and three other poems - two other pre 1914, and one Simon Armitage poem.
The thief is talking as though it destroys for the sake of it, and Carol Ann Duffy uses a lot of hard sounding words such as 'booted', 'ripped' and 'rags' to add emphasis to the thief's feelings. Perhaps the most disturbing phrase in the poem is 'I could eat myself' which shows a sense of self destruction - possibly suicide. 'Education for Leisure' is also written by Carol Ann Duffy and like 'Stealing' it is a poem about loneliness and alienation.
- Word count: 609
The poem is written in the first-person and the speaker addresses lover in second person ("you"). This makes the poem universal, and understandable to all, as sex of lover and beloved is not stated. I also find the structure and from very intriguing since there appears to be no clear argument, but a series of observations linked by their common theme. "Lethal." The poem is not written in proper sentence forms throughout but Carol Ann Duffy has used many disjointed phrases and even a single words to portray her message of love to the reader.
- Word count: 497
This poem is basically an informal and casual speech, in which the speaker communicates directly with the reader. As revealed from the last sentence, "You don't understand a word I'm saying, do you?", the speaker is addressing to the reader and requesting them to respond and be involved. Sometimes, we can even hear the real-life voice of the speaker through the use of onomatopoeia. For instance, "I sigh like this-Aah", which appeals to the reader's sense of hearing, making the sigh more impressive and forms9 a strong impression in the mind of the reader. The application of pauses, further demonstrates that the speaker is interacting with the reader, as in a speech, we will not be able to complete our speech in one breath, there must be pauses.
- Word count: 745
Explain how Carol Ann Duffy conveys her feelings towards the subjects of the two poems 'War Photographer' and 'Stealing'.
However, in this poem, the narrator is the character and he is angry and resentful. In both of the poems she uses the expressions and speech rhythms of an everyday conversation. 'Stealing' starts with a question, 'The most unusual thing I ever stole?', which I think, makes the poem more interesting and intriguing for the readers as well as making it more conversational. The question is then answered with 'A snowman'. This is quite a shocking and unusual thing to steal and I believe this will grab the reader's interest. By making the poem more conversational, it makes it more personal and gets us more intrigued and makes us think about the unusual question at the start of the poem.
- Word count: 2066
Valentine and I am very bothered are both on the subject of love. Both use a lot of effective imagery to focus attention on the main topic.
This gives an impression that the poet is trying to excuse himself and his actions by describing the innocent and pure flame of the Bunsen burner, which he used to wound her. 'O the unrivalled stench of branded skin' gives an indication of the sense of enjoyment felt by the poet. Armitage uses sibilance in 'stench' and 'skin' to give an indication of the sinister basis of his sadistic pleasure. When he says 'stench of branded' the Armitage uses four syllables with the three words in an attempt to slow down the pace and extend the emphasis on the animalistic and violent words.
- Word count: 706
A flash flood of worries and concerns thunder across your mind, which is suddenly feeling particularly achey for this time in the evening. Usually your brain is still in automatic mode after you crept out of your snug bed, pulled on yesterday's already crumpled clothes, and slid down your perfectly shiny banisters, in a desperate attempt to cling onto your innocence which you briefly experienced as a child. But now, you decide to investigate further as all ability to be rational is overridden by an intense desire to Know.
- Word count: 922
Compare and contrast the way in which 'Stealing' and 'Education for leisure' show how human beings can react to being unhappy.
She shows us not so much of an intelligent criminal but a person who turns to theft just because they are bored. Both criminals in 'Stealing' and 'Education for Leisure' are people who turned to crime due to their loneliness and boredom. The point of the 'Stealing' poem is to show what people do when they are isolated. They turn to crime because they do not know what is morally right or wrong. This is shown when it says on line 11, "Sometimes I steal things I don't need."
- Word count: 755
"My grandmother", "Piano", "At Castle Boterel" are poems which are concentrated on the main idea of 'looking back".
He misses those days now knowing that he is unable to go back.. In `At Castle Boterel' the poet reflects back to the past and shares the reader the most enjoyable times he spent whilst he built a strong relationship with the most important person in his life, the person he loved. The times when they spend the day talking, climbing up the hills together were all a very precious and a special time for the poet. But now he knows that his time is approaching to an end, and knows that he will not be able to go back to those days, ever again.
- Word count: 2424