If you travel there, which the poem certainly makes tempting, you will find that your past struggles and griefs are gone. The voice in your head Within ‘Foreign’ Duffy delves into themes of alienation, home, and acceptance. For example, the transitions between lines three and four of the first stanza and two and three of the second. By calling on the reader to "imagine", therefore, the poet is opening a powerful world The speaker in ‘The Way My Mother Speaks’ is haunted by the words of her mother. This time it is the wife of the mythological King Midas from Ovid’s Metamorphoses speaking. refuses to tell her its exact worth. dramatist. In the last stanza, she moves away from the devastating experience and puts the audience into another situation. The cyclic nature of the poem demands the audience to empathise with the speaker. But in this text, Duffy seeks to extend what prayer is and give examples of the other, even more, vibrant forms it can take. Subscribe to our mailing list and get new poetry analysis updates straight to your inbox. an involved observer rather than just a third person reading the verses. Sleep. The login page will open in a new tab. In what is perhaps the most interesting part of the text, the beauty of Shakespeare’s works extends out into their life together. Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow in December 1955, the eldest child in her family. victimization of these people in the poorer slum areas of England. used by the subject. The landing is, of course, the platform between two flights of stairs and so the voice would tend to echo By keeping the words vague, however, the poet allows for the imagination to supply -- and the rejected her nomination. would eventually blossom into the literary skills of her adult life. Henri. She was at last given that honour in 2009. Director of the Writing School at the Manchester Metropolitan University. You must decide. uninvolved bystander but become intricately and emotionally involved in the person's life, emotions and your foreign accent echo down the stairs. that one of you says, Me not know what these people mean. She was almost appointed Poet Laureate for Britain in 1999 but Prime Minister Tony Blair apparently Context Theme/Message She moved from Scotland to England at the age of 6 Her personal experiences of moving and being a foreigner reflects on how she writes this poem Scotland --> England, same region - UK Duffy felt homesick Standing Female Nude collection Published 1987 Stock The voice in your head Use of public transport -- busses, the underground, etc -- is common in cities A "landing" has been described as "a platform between flights of stairs or the floor at the head There are some dismal dwellings on the east side and one of them is yours. Word selection is very carefully controlled. The third line of the third stanza is a great example. Carol Ann Duffy Anthology of poems Scottish Set Text National 5 / Higher Originally We came from our own country in a red room which fell through the fields, our mother singing our father’s name to the turn of the wheels. against a brick wall. Caroline Ann Duffy is Scottish born and according to Wikipedia, she is “the first  women, the first Scott, and the first openly LGBT person to hold the position” of    poet  laureate of Britain. The text speaks on the reasons why finding the right words to describe an emotion as complex and powerful as love, is nearly impossible. (4), What name do you think has been sprayed on the brick wall? She expresses the difficulty she has had coming to terms with a certain perception of herself as different, separate, or unusual in her community. It is a love poem of sorts, with a great deal of subversion thrown in. Director of the Writing School at the Manchester Metropolitan University. This has all to do with becoming "inarticulate". The first, alliteration, occurs when words are used in succession, or at least appear close together, and begin with the same letter. Although she was raised and educated a Catholic, she soon moved away from religion and into a more Every single person that visits PoemAnalysis.com has helped contribute, so thank you for your support. This reminds of when I first arrived in Canada, I had to use my hands and sometimes my entire body to explain what I wanted to say which was very embarrassing and I was upset at myself for not being able to say the words I needed. Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! separated from each other. It is something one can sense with their five senses. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 June 2014. Particularly, those who are able to go straight to bed and dream, without worrying about not belonging. The persona is an immigrant from an impoverished country who is still struggling to fit in to his/her new ‘home’ even after 20 years of living there. ( Log Out /  might adapt somewhat after living in a foreign country for some years, it will never fully change -- not Half a life spent in work, half a life spent in sleep. She uses ‘think’, ‘language’ and ‘talk’ along with pronoun ‘theirs’ to contrast the experience of foreigners in a new culture. 1 Answer. I am very sorry to hear that but we know there are also nice people out there! It is snowing in the streets, under the neon lights, puts the reader in the subject's shoes with her words, "imagine", etc. Red like blood”. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. You use the public transport. The Although she was raised and educated a Catholic, she soon moved away from religion and into a more She supports her feeling in the second line of the first stanza with alliteration – ‘dismal dwelling’ – with the heavy sound of ‘d’ supporting the uncomfortable feeling. in 1995, In her poetry, she explores everyday experiences and in  this case  ‘Foreign’ talks about the bleak everyday experience of foreigners. The poem portrays the hardships that foreigners face when living and working in a strange country. The third line of the third stanza is a great example. speaker but rather imitating her and her sudden paucity in speaking English in order to involve the reader These are the gifts that give the world order and our lives meaning. She was at last given that honour in 2009. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Imagine one night. It could, however, be such a word as, "Paki", since there appears to have been intense It could therefore appear as frozen dust, as if the buildings were coming to pieces and A hate name. and how the blood stained into foreign dust. Favourite answer. Imagine living in a strange, dark city for twenty years. As early as sixteen, she became involved in a passionate relationship with the 39 year old poet Adrian Red like blood”. coins in her hand has to stare at the money, trying to work out its value but it refuses to "translate", All that time ago, and now you do not know Her main character knows where they live, but they do not feel they belong there. She also talks about the harshness of the foreign experience. your foreign accent echo down the stairs. You think. Every now and then the strangeness of the stranger in a strange land comes to dominate once more. She continues the nostalgia in the second stanza, creating a very strong emotional image by referring to a mother singing. Some of Duffy’s best-known poetry collections are Standing Female Nude (1985), The World’s Wife (1999), and Rapture (2005). “HCP 2010 Toronto.” HCP 2010 Toronto. There are some dismal dwellings on the east side The again. In the last words of the second stanza, she understands what it means when foreigners start to lose their own native language when she says ‘what’s the word for this.’ I sometimes find myself using English words in Korea without realizing it. Carol Ann Duffy (b. The speaker states that this person is unsure why they are feeling so emotional at this moment. Unfortunately for the reader, it doesn’t last. She became editor of the poetry magazine Ambit and has lectured poetry at Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer utters itself. There are some dismal dwellings on the east side and one of them is yours. From an early age 2014. This character’s world is described as “coming to bits”. Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. Havisham. please help! Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest and greatest poetry updates. back at home surrounded by one's own family and friends. Then she began working in schools in East London (England) before becoming a full-time writer and Prayers come to the people in the text, they emerge from the chanting of trains and the “minims sung by a tree”. Shows the intensity of the passion the immigrants are treated with. during daylight hours. The login page will open in a new tab. It becomes quite an interesting game to see if you can find all the references. They become for the speaker, who deeply loves and misses her mother, a mantra to soothe in her times of greatest need. It is not an easy state to exist in. It could therefore be a word of simple racial hatred, or it could be a word Back to IB English Language and Literature. A hundred agonies in black and white from which his editor will pick out five or six for Sunday’s supplement. What's your thoughts? Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest and greatest poetry updates. The last line in the first stanza, ‘You think in a language of your own and talk in theirs’ reminds me of my situation in Canada. I agree with your point of view about this poem! To a reader though, the loneliness and alienation are clearly being felt deeply. Be brave and tell them how you dont want to be made fun of, dont be scared. They are thrust back into reality and made to confront the dreary real world. Throughout the text, a reader is presented with a comparison between love and an onion. She also Duffy chose to recreate the character. Then she began working in schools in East London (England) before becoming a full-time writer and Why your eyes are watering and what’s the word for this. This is a clear reference to some kind of derogatory term. showering dust onto you. Just trying to help sorry if u took it offensively. The idea of blood is to show how hurtful the experience is and she describes how devastating it is. She is making a strong statement about feminism in amongst amusing and outrageous language. These include alliteration, imagery, caesura, and enjambment. The world has been full of so much pressure and the main character is overwhelmed by everything. You think in a language of your own and talk in theirs. *It like they only go to bed and dream. Carol Ann Duffy, who was born in Scotland in December of 1955, has become one of the best-loved poets alive today. Carol Ann Duffy, who was born in Scotland in December of 1955, has become one of the best-loved poets alive today. having been spilt. It is snowing in the streets, under the neon lights, She puts the audience once again into another culture by referring to a delicatessen, a European style eatery. very similar," she once said. And then again, the poet is begging the reader to empathise with the person in the poet. Imagine. still thinks in her native dialect, translating her thoughts rather than speaking as a native speaker. I identify with this nostalgia because there are moments I miss my mother’s scent, warm hugs, thoughtful voice and eyes. Do not A person is only fully versed in a language when he or she actually thinks in that language. skimp. she revealed a passion fo reading and soon began to indicate her qualities as a writer, qualities which

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