Carol Ann Duffy - Mean Time Anthology Notes


Poetry Revision

Section C – Poetic Voices = Carol Ann Duffy

·         Choice of 2 thematic questions eg, identity, places, relationships.

·         Given one poem that you need to write about you then choose the other.

·         AO1 = 15 Marks – linguistic terminology

·         AO2 = 10 marks – evaluating the quotes and language.

·         25 minutes to talk about poem A and 25 minutes to talk about poem B

·         Need to consider the construction of poetic voice – need to think about the perspective of the persona.

·         Opening Paragraph = Explain how each poem relates to the question, explain the narrative viewpoint.

·         Introduce poem 1 = Make a definite point/ topic sentence that relates to the question- introduce relative evidence.

·         Introduce poem 2 = make new topic – try and write an equal amount for each text.

Themes –

Time =

·         Mean Time – Duffy uses the idea of lack of time and the length of the days to describe how the persona is feeling about a past lover. The persona seems to be blaming their feelings on time itself. – “The clocks slid back an hour and stole light from my life.” This can be interpreted in the literal sense of the clocks going back an hour or in a metaphorical sense that it took something away from the persona.

·         The Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team – Shows a contrast between two different times in the persona’s life and how overtime things that mattered as a child has no relevance to an adult. It shows how much time can affect a person’s perspective on certain items. In the poem the persona wants to reverse time and go back to a time where they were more important and the centre of attention. – “I want it back”

·         Before you were Mine – The persona is looking into a different time when her mother was younger. She is able to see what her mother was like before the persona was born and see a clear contrast between her now and when she was younger.

Sense of Place =

·         Never Go Back – The persona is describing a place in which they detest, there are many bad memories attached to the place that the persona is able to vividly describe using vivid imagery.

·         Stafford Afternoon – Duffy is describing her own childhood event, as when Duffy was younger she moved to Stafford. In the poem she represents Stafford as a place of familiarity, a family friendly place and a pleasant one too. “The gardens were empty// an ice-cream van chimed” this contrasts with later in the poem as it is represented as a place of danger – “Too late. Touch said the long-haired man.”

·         Beachcomber – It is about a woman looking back into a photograph and describing exactly what is


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