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. Examples of Miss Havisham’s hate and anger are evident throughout the poem.
“Ropes on the backs of my hands I could strangle with”
We can see here that Duffy has described how Havisham is getting old and her veins on her hands are standing out, Duffy describes these veins as “Ropes”. This quote is also describing a feeling “I could strangle with.” Here, Havisham wants to cause pain and damage to the man who hurt her, however, She could also be describing how the veins are so thick, they could be strong enough to strangle somebody. We can clearly see evidence of Miss Havisham having hatred feelings here, she is somehow showing herself how she is getting so old but the wedding day still remains clear in her memory.
Then further on in the poem, Miss Havisham begins to feel hatred about her.
“Sounds not words”
Miss Havisham has not washed, Cleaned or had a change of clothes since the wedding day, so this quote could be referring to Miss Havisham as Animal like.
“Some nights better, the lost body over me”
Here Miss Havisham is beginning to feel the love that she still has for this man, she wants to be with him, and she probably wants him sexually some nights, because she has not had any sexuality for probably 30 years.
“Then down, till it suddenly bites awake”.
Here Miss Havisham could either be dreaming of the happy times she spent with her ex fiancée, and the “suddenly bites awake” bit could well be when she wakes up and realises that it has all changed and that she really hates this man deep down inside. Or she could be speaking about her not getting any sexual connotations from another man, so she is having to do it her self, and the “suddenly bites awake” bit could be when she has an orgasm. Either way, I think that they both fit well to Duffy’s description.
Duffy creates even more feelings and images of love and hate.
“Love’s Hate behind a white veil”
From this quote, we can see that Duffy is relating to it as hate belonging to love, here she meant that for this kind of hate to be produces, much love is needed to be broken first, then “Behind a white veil” this part of the quote doesn’t necessary have to relate to sex, but the colour white could have something to do with Miss Havisham being a virgin, but it could also be just describing the colour of the veil, and then relating back to the wedding which is expressing her Love which was broken. Also this quote is split up between two stanzas, the first word of it “Love’s” is the last word in the third stanza, and the rest of it is in the last stanza. I think this is separating the love and the hate into the two stanzas which 1 is about love, and the other is about hate. And the “Love” part is in the stanza about love and sex. Whereas the rest of the quote is in the finishing stanza, which is about love, been broken. I think that Duffy has done this to try and separate the love from the hate.
This poem has no clear structure, apart form it having 4 neat stanzas with 4 lines in each, and each line is roughly the same length. This kind of layout would probably be related to the same sort of layout as maybe a suicide note, or a death note, and I think that Duffy is trying to show this with the layout of her poem.
With this poem having no rhythmic pattern to it, I think that it is trying to show Miss Havisham’s destruction, and maybe if it was a rhyming poem, then it could give the wrong impression and the reader could take it as a happy poem rather than a sad, lonely anger poem.
In the first stanza, the last words on the four lines are, “then, it, eyes, with” I cannot find any kind of rhyme or pattern with these words.
I find this poem interesting and I enjoyed reading it, but there were parts, which I found slightly hard to understand. My immediate response to this poem would be…
Miss Havisham needs to wake up and get over the fact that she was stood up, but after reading into this poem, I have started to understand why she feels so bad, and why her hate is as strong as it is.
I think that Duffy has communicated well with the reader, and has passed across all the points which have been made in the poem.