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Carol Ann Duffy. Simon Armitage About his person. Stealing. Carol Ann Duffy Stealing. Poetic Technique. Conversational monologue: The poem replicates natural speech, so that we can 'hear' the voice of the speaker
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Carol Ann Duffy Simon Armitage Abouthisperson Stealing
Poetic Technique Conversational monologue: The poem replicates natural speech, so that we can 'hear' the voice of the speaker talking to us . We can even hear the pauses as s/he adds details to the story. ""A snowman. / Midnight." • Allitteration • Internal Rhyme • Clichè • Use of enjambment • Occasional pentameter • Jarring vocabulary
STYLE Duffy's work explores both everyday experience and the rich fantasy life of herself and others. In dramatizing scenes from childhood, adolescence, and adult life, She discovers moments of consolation through love, memory, and language. Ear for ordinary eloquence
THEMES She slides in and out of her characters' lives on a stream of possessions, aspirations, idioms and turns of phrase. She said. “In each poem, I'm trying to reveal a truth, so it can't have a fictional beginning."
LANGUAGE Although the poem is about I, it is not the poet herself who is talking to us. it is deliberately ambiguous, a mystery voice. The poet appears to be responding to a question someone has asked. ""'The most unusual thing I ever stole?'"" ,the language of the poem sounds like natural speech. S/he asks us to respond ('You don't understand a word I'm saying, do you?')
IMAGERY The central image is that of the snowman alone in someone's empty yard in the middle of the night - an image of dark and icy cold: there is an obvious parallel between the ice-cold snowman, alone in his yard, and the speaker, The parallel is underlined by the speaker The snowman, in other words, stands as a symbol for the cold and loneliness of the speaker's own situation. it is also symbolic of his or her self-destructive behaviour.
ATTITUDE 'Attitude' can be thought of as a combination of the poet's tone of voice, and the ideas he or she is trying to get across to the reader. Is this poem: sneering and aggressive, almost spitting at 'ordinary' people who cannot understand? sad, lonely and asking for help? Either tone would work. In fact the poem seems to be between the two, sometimes cynical and cruel (""Part of the thrill was knowing / that children would cry in the morning."") sometimes almost appealing for sympathy (""I was standing / alone among….. It's as if the speaker's toughness masks something else, something far more vulnerable.
Poem Analysis • "About his person", suggests that this poem is about what is found about the person of a dead corpse. It also follows the theme of identity because we as the reader are attempting to analyse the poem to find out the corpse's characteristics and why he died. "About he person", can also be linked to us because we are made to think about what makes up our own personal image. The poem is spilt into two line couplets. This could be linked to the content because the lines are short which could represent his short life, but they also give the impression of a list, which ties into the fact that the poem is basically a catalogue of what was found on the body.
Stanza one says that the corpse had exactly five pounds fifty in change. This in itself is strange because it isn't normal to carry around that exact amount of money. The next line shows that a library card was found on the corpse and that it was on its date of expiry. This could symbolize that his life has ended or that his life, like the card, is no longer any good. The next stanza is about a post card that was found. The card has been stamped and franked which means it is basically ready to send, but nothing has been written on it. This could definitely be a metaphor for his life, it has finished but he hasn't done anything with it.
Stanza three is all about this person's diary. It has been slashed from March 24th to the 1st April. This could have been his last week alive and the person could have died on April fools day, which could suggest a poor practical joke. Stanza four says that the corpse is found with a brace of keys for a mortise lock. The word brace is symbolic for his death because when you kill foul you would normally end up with a brace of birds. The mortise lock suggests that his life was very complicated. The next line describes that the man was carrying a stopped analogue watch, symbolic of his death because time has stopped for the watch and for this person. stops.
Stanza five contains the line, "A final demand." This is normally a letter you get when you owe bank money. He has written his final demand to the world that may mean the letter was some kind or suicide note. Stanzas six and seven, link in with stanza five and helps to prove the idea of suicide. The final demand is an explanation of why he committed suicide and has been put in his hand like a flower that has been beheaded. This flower could also be a metaphor for his death because the flower is dead but it could also reflect the reason for his death.
Stanza eight shows that a giveaway photo was found inside this person's wallet and that it was a very precious and treasured thing to the owner. The fact that this is a giveaway photo may mean that it meant nothing to the person in the picture but the fact that this is now banked in the heart of a locket shows it was very important to the dead man. The last two stanzas are very much liked together. The first is saying that there is no gold or silver wedding ring on his finger but instead crowing one finger is a weathered spot where a ring used to be.
While reading the poem more interpretations are possible. Someone could have murdered this person and then his ring was stolen. He wasn't supposed to die, but still his life has come to an end. The watch was probably damaged during a fight of some sort and then gradually died. This person could have been murdered because his note of explanation has been planted in his hand. This could mean that the note was planted because this links with the spray carnation, which is a flower, or it could have been planted on the body, in his hand, by the murderer.
The final piece of evidence I see for the murder is that there was giveaway photo in his wallet. This could be a giveaway photo as I have already said or it could be a photo that gives away the identity of the killer or some information on the crime. Overall I think that this poem shows a lonely guy who due to desperation has killed himself because of the death or divorce of his greatly loved partner. That's why I would agree that the ring of white unweathered skin, "That was everything."