+ Carol Ann Duffy Review By: Deena Farrukh Tara Sebastian Tabassum Mohibi
+ Tabassum Standing female nude Where we came in Valentine The dolphins haworth
+ Tara You Warming her pearls Foreign Medusa Little red cap
+ Deena Head of English War photographer Moments of grace Woman seated in the underground, 1941 Stealing
+ “Standing Female Nude” from Standing Female Nude (1985) Inthis poem, Carol Ann Duffy uses an artist’s model to assert a main question: who has more power? The model criticizes the artist’s work and his place in society (“poor” “little man”) but also puts herself down by calling her self a “river-whore” Who was more power? It can be interpreted in two ways: the artist ultimately has the control of what he paints and can make the model look however he pleases; however, the model can also be seen with more power as she has the control of how to treat the artist and what she can think of his work.
+ “Haworth” from Rapture (2006) In this poem, Duffy is describing every aspect of the town Haworth by using metaphors towards the Bronte Sisters. She has an awestruck tone which shows that the entire area is enveloped by the shadow and memory of the Bronte’s. Duffy believes she can never compare to the literary work of the Bronte sisters Throughout the poem she praises their lingering presence, celebrates their work, and places their work on a pedestal which no one can achieve.
+ “Where We Came In” from Standing Female Nude (1999) This poem is cyclical (last word connects to the beginning of the poem) and tells a story of a relationship that is in the past, but the memories remain The cyclical aspect of the poem shows that in various relationships, feelings fade but then return in the end. Memories are renewed and the past comes back into their lives. A candle is a symbol throughout the poem which represents illumination upon the “old lovers’” memories and it is what’s connecting the two; however, a candle doesn’t last forever and light will soon vanish. Overall, Duffy exemplifies that you can’t move on from a relationship once you have a certain connection, because a relationship is like a cycle.
+ “Valentine” from Mean Time (1993) Throughout this poem, Duffy establishes a sinister tone towards relationships that are fake or materialistic. The speaker is asserting to its “Valentine” that “red roses,” “kissograms,” or “cute cards” will not be given and that those gifts aren’t as significant in a deep relationship. She has appreciation towards love that is meaningful, like an “onion” (many layers that you peel back like getting closer to a partner) There is also a contrast of negative and positive diction in the poem, which shows that love can be bittersweet.
+ “Dolphins” In this poem, Duffy asserts that nature cannot be replicated and that you cannot force a new environment upon someone The speakers of the poem are the dolphins that are trapped in an aquarium and have to adjust to societal bounds. As the poem progresses, the “truth in these waters” is revealed and the dolphins begin to realize that their lives have now become under the authority of a trainer; and there is no hope of escaping back to their world, and their true waters.
+ Moments of Grace from Mean Time (1993) In this poem, Duffy implies that she does not want to let go of the past. Each stanza ends with a sudden, and very short verse, indicating there is enjambment and leaves the reader thinking. The tone of this poem is smothering.
+ Head of English from Standing Female Nude (1985) This poem is about women having power. Duffy is definitely showing a lot of attitude here. It’s belittling, and she has very racist opinions in this poem. The tone of this poem is very narrow-minded, as if she doesn’t want to understand the other individual’s side, she just keeps going on her own. Especially at the end when she says “I have to dash.” That shows that she does not really care what others say.
+ War Photographer from Standing Female Nude (1985) This poem reminded me a lot of Sorrow of War. The “war photographer” seems very upset. He doesn’t want to take the pictures of the war to show off to anyone. The innocence is gradually getting destroyed. The tone is very critical and effusive.
+ Woman Seated in the Underground, 1941 from Standing Female Nude (1999) This poem is talking about how women are looked down upon. There is a lot of chaos being caused in the middle of the poem. The tone is dreary and traumatic.
+ Stealing from Selling Manhattan (1987) Stealing automatically comes off as a negative tone. The poem is about how the innocence is taken out of someone. There is a lot of brutality involved to remove innocence. The tone gradually goes into a sad and aggressive tone.
+ You from Rapture (2006) In this poem, Duffy describes her relationship with an unnamed lover. Throughout, she maintains a tone of desire. She makes use of figurative language as she shows how love can be both deadly and irresistable. She also conveys that love can be a transformative power. Ultimately, the theme is that although love is risky and it seems logical to resist, it ultimately changes you and breaks the ordinary drag of daily being.
+ Warming Her Pearls from Selling Manhattan (1987) The poem is told from the perspective of a chamber maid describing her duties and relationship with her mistress. One of her duties is to literally warm the mistresses pearls. She creates a tone of desire and admiration You can get a sense that the maid is either in love with the mistress, is fascinated by the mistress’ way of life and the idea of her, or is fascinated by love. The poem also has underlying ideas of social class as clear distinctions are made between maid and mistress throughout.
+ Medusa from the World’s Wife (1999) The poem taken literally is told from the perspective of Medusa, a figure from Greek mythology who had snakes as hair. In the poem, Duffy uses the allusion to Medusa to portray jealousy in a relationship. The speaker’s loneliness has turned to burning anger. Dark, twisted images are used to portray the speaker’s frame of mind. Sympathy is created for the speaker when the last stanza reveals that her lover most likely cheated on her. Ultimately, the speaker emerged from the relationship a changed, stronger person.
+ Foreign from Selling Manhattan (1987) This poem literally describes the struggles of those in a foreign place, but it can also be taken to describe the pain of any “outsiders”. It is clear that the speaker feels utterly alone. The poem evokes empathy for the speaker by using second person and placing the reader in the speaker’s shoes. The poem is criticizing those who not only discriminate races, but those who under-appreciate the value of outsiders.
+ Little Red Cap from the World’s Wife (1999) Literally, the poem is a twist on the story of Little Red Riding Hood and is told from the girl’s perspective. The poem is an allegory for her relationship with poet Adrian Henri. In the poem, the speaker faces a loss of innocence as she experiences her first love. The mood is frightening and mysterious, while there is a tone of uncertainty. She ultimately emerges out of the “forest” (relationship) as an stronger, more independent person. The poem also has feminist undertones.