Saturday, September 28, 2019
Before You Were Mine by Carol Ann Duffy Essay
Ã¢â¬Å"Before you were mineÃ¢â¬ is a poem written by a daughter about how she imagines her motherÃ¢â¬â¢s life ten years before the daughter was born. The author describes the photo of her mother with two of her friends. They Ã¢â¬Å"shriek at the pavementÃ¢â¬ and seem to be sharing a joke, young and lightsome (line 4). She knows that the thought of having a child one day doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t occur to her mother when she was young and had a lot of dreams. Now remembering her own childhood, Duffy thinks of how she used to play with her motherÃ¢â¬â¢s red shoes and imagines when her mother might have worn them. She remembers how her mother used to teach her dance steps when she was a little girl. The poem is a four stanza one, each stanza being made up of five lines, with some variation in length of line. The first two stanzas focus purely on the life of the mother before the daughter was born, whilst the third stanza opens with a reference to the daughterÃ¢â¬â¢s birth and then moves to the daughterÃ¢â¬â¢s vision of her mother in her earlier life, thus providing a link with the previous stanzas. The fourth stanza begins with a recollection from the daughterÃ¢â¬â¢s younger life with her mother, and then takes us back once again to the motherÃ¢â¬â¢s days of dancing. I consider that the language contributes to the mood of the poem. The poem is written in first person narrative voice. There are many references to her mother as very happy Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å"you laugh / the bold girl winking in PortobelloÃ¢â¬ , Ã¢â¬Å"you sparkle and waltz and laughÃ¢â¬ (lines 13-15). The authorÃ¢â¬â¢s motherÃ¢â¬â¢s life can be perceived as flashy. Her mother is likened to Marilyn Monroe: Ã¢â¬Å"Your polka-dot dress blows round your legs. MarilynÃ¢â¬ (line 5). DuffyÃ¢â¬â¢s mother dreams of Ã¢â¬Å"fizzy, movie tomorrowsÃ¢â¬ (line 7). The poem is written in the present tense, as if the events of the photo are happening now. I suppose in this way the poet tries to make her motherÃ¢â¬â¢s past as real as possible. It seems juicy to read a poem in which a daughter imagines how full of life and fun her mother must have been before she was born. Her admiration of her mother is shown in a direct way, and words such as Ã¢â¬Å"shriekÃ¢â¬ , Ã¢â¬Å"sparkleÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"fizzyÃ¢â¬ image the carelessness of youth. Throughout, the poet is very possessive of her mother. References to her appear constantly: Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬â¢m ten years awayÃ¢â¬ ¦ Ã¢â¬ , Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬â¢m not here yetÃ¢â¬ ¦ Ã¢â¬ , Ã¢â¬Å"I rememberÃ¢â¬ ¦ Ã¢â¬ (lines 1, 6 and 12). The word Ã¢â¬Å"mineÃ¢â¬ appears in the title and the poem actually concludes with the same words as the title, as if the poet is locking her mother in a firm embrace of words.