CONSIDER THE USE OF PLACE IN TWO POEMS BY TWO DIFFERENT POETS THAT YOU HAVE STUDIED.
Both "Parting with a View" by Wistawa Szymborska and "Disgrace" by Carol Ann Duffy use the places which have been havens of tranquility in their previous lives to illustrate the changes which have taken place and symbolise their present emotions. In the poem "Disgrace" Duffy uses the house, that used to be her home, to indicate her broken relationship and her feelings of oppression. In "Parting with a View" Szymborska uses the image of a "special space" in the countryside to show how her feelings have developed into a negative acceptance of her present life.
The poem "Disgrace" is full of powerful emotions. The persona is feeling confined by the house and is feeling angry. The shared space is no longer a haven, it is more of a prison. She uses the house as a vehicle for her misery and despair. It is an implied antithesis between her life before the relationship went sour and her misery now.
The imagery of place used in this poem is all from the persona's home, but it is not used in a positive and special way: "we had not been home in our hearts for months", it is used to express the break down of her relationship, her house is considered as a prison, the couple find it claustrophobic: "the shadows of hands huge in the bedroom". Duffy uses the idea of disease to describe what is happening in her house: "our house a coldness of rooms, each nursing a thickening cyst of dust and gloom". She associates her destructed relationship with an unattended houseby using metaphors alon the poem: "Dead flies in a web", "deaths of lightbulbs pining all day", "a bowl of apples rotten to the core". The persona finds that the house is oppresive because there is no sound of life there, therefore she can hear all the low noises that the house makes: "humming fridge", "lightbulbs pining all day", "screaming alarm", "banging door", and these noises irritate her. In a normal house you wouldn't be able to hear these noises because they would be hidden by louder noises such as conversation or laughter. She uses personifications to make the house feel how she feels: "sullen kitchen", "the fridge hardened its cool heart", "house-plants trembling in their soil", "the telephone pressing its ear to distant, invisible lips". The house is now moody and it has nothing special about it, it has lost its personality because there is no love or appreciation living in it. She tarnishes the house with her thoughts: "obscenities spraying themselves on the wall in my head."