Before You Were Mine – Carol Ann Duffy
Duffy Is a poem about the adoration that the writer feels for her mother. Her feelings are revealed in first person. Duffy uses a range of narrative techniques like onomatopoeia, metaphors and short sentences which stand out and make the writers point clear. These techniques help reveal the author’s changing attitude from selfish and possessive to loving and affectionate, when considering the younger version of her mother.
After reading the poem, we learn that the writer Is looking at a photograph of her other and her friends when they were teenagers, standing at a street corner having a laugh, ready to go out for the night. Perhaps the author found this photo in among her mother’s things and decided to write about what it represents. To her, it represents the fact that her Mother had a life before her and it was a pretty good one. The way the poet writes about her mother suggests that her mother had a very glamorous life and there are many ways Duffy tries to communicate this to us throughout the poem.
Before You Were Mine Quotes
In the photograph that Duffy has found, her mother is pictured n a polka-dot dress and Duffy compares her to Marilyn Monroe, the biggest film star and glamour model of the ass. The thousand eyes’ – where the glitter ball hangs in the ballroom, the dancing and high-heeled red shoes and the polka-dot dress her mother would wear on a night out all add to the fun that comes with a glamorous life. The poet portrays quite a possessive attitude towards her mother. She constantly mentions herself and her own thoughts and feelings throughout the poem – ‘I remember…. , I’m not here yet….
I’m ten years away, the thought of me doesn’t occur… ‘ Even the title portrays the possessive way In which Duffy thinks of her mother: ‘Before You Were Mine,’ The word ‘mine’ lets the reader know that this woman is hers! Not anybody else’s, except her husband of course, but that’s In a deferent sense! This may be quite a selfish stance to take, but It shows the closeness of the mother and daughter relationship. Perhaps, the poet is possessive of her mother because she couldn’t control her mother’s youth and is hanging onto what she can control at the moment.
As Duffy realizes the fun, exciting life her mother had before she gave birth to her, she feels a pang of guilt that she in a sense took away her mother’s youth and freedom. When Duffy writes, ‘l en cease enema AT my loud, possessive yell was ten Test one, Enron The words ‘loud’ and yell’ suggest the scream of a baby when it comes out of its mother’s womb and this portrays Carol Ann Duffy being born and ending the decade that was the best one’ for her mother.
Duffy is relating to the good times her mother ad with her friends before she had a child and in a way forced her to grow up, move on, throw away her youth and adopt the lifestyle and responsibilities of a caring mum. As well as guilt, there’s a sense of regret that Duffy didn’t know her mother when her mother was fun exciting and vibrant. As she says, ‘Even then I wanted the bold girl winking in Portable; somewhere in Scotland, before I was born. ‘ The use of the word ‘bold’ suggests that the poet admires her mother for her confidence and daring behavior.
Duffy regrets that she didn’t know her mother hen she was the ‘bold’ girl and perhaps feels guilty as she feels it was her fault her mother’s behavior changed. The theme of love is captured throughout the poem. When Duffy says ‘I knew you would dance like that,’ it shows that she has faith in her mother, cares for her and wants the best for her. The poet would love to meet the glamorous, care-free, dancer who only existed a decade ago, laughing on the corner of George Square. The poet uses alliteration at the end of the poem: ‘Even then I wanted the bold girl winking in Portable, somewhere in Scotland,
The words ‘bold,’ ‘before’ and ‘born’ again suggest that her mother was ‘bold’ before she was born and the poet uses the letter ‘b’ to make these words stand out and add fluency to the poem. ‘That glamorous love lasts where you sparkle and waltz and laugh before you were mine. ‘ This time the author uses the letter ‘l’ to make the words ‘love,’ ‘lasts,’ and ‘laugh,’ stand out. This suggests that the love she saw in the ‘bold girl winking in Portable,’ is still there in her mother, and Duffy sees this every time her mother laughs.
The poet has revealed her and her mother’s relationship in a sweet and sensitive way, thinking carefully about her relationship with her mother in the present, the past and thinking about the relationship her and her mother could have had if the poet Ana Known near mother Detour seen gave Rite to near snarling stories tout near Mother teaching her dance steps on the way home from Mass, and how she always played with her Mum’s red high-heeled shoes suggests that her and her Mother had quite a warm and close relationship and reveals perhaps that Duffy was grateful for he great memories she had with her mother as a child.
Reading this poem gets me thinking about my own relationship with my Mother and how her life was before me. I don’t really relate to this poem at all because from what my Mom has told me I know that her life before she had me was far from glamorous so she didn’t leave much behind and probably had a lot more fun when she had me! So the line at the end of my poem to my mother would be ‘That glamorous love lasts where you sparkle and waltz and laugh after you were mine. ‘