Before you were mine

advertisement
Objectives
By the end of today’s lesson you will be able to:
• explore the meaning,
imagery, tone, structure
and language of ‘Before
You Were Mine’ by Carol
Ann Duffy.
The 1950s
Content
• Ten years before Duffy was born, Duffy’s mother
was a young girl laughing with her friends,
wearing the latest fashions- a ‘polka-dot dress’.
She stayed out late dancing, even though she
knew she would get ‘a hiding’. She was
rebellious. She was flirtatious with ‘high-heeled
red shoes’ and ‘small bites’ on her neck. She
loved dancing.
• Duffy seems to miss the girl she fell in love with
as a spirit before she was born as this girl’s
daughter. How has Duffy’s mother changed?
Content
• In Buddhism, people believe we choose
our parents. We look down watch people
on earth. When we find the right parents
that will let us progress on our journey, we
are born.
• In this poem, the narrator goes back in
time to 10 years before she is born, and
watches her mother.
I'm ten years away from the corner you laugh on
with your pals, Maggie McGeeney and Jean Duff.
The three of you bend from the waist, holding
each other, or your knees, and shriek at the pavement.
Your polka-dot dress blows round your legs. Marilyn.
I'm not here yet. The thought of me doesn't occur
in the ballroom with the thousand eyes, the fizzy, movie tomorrows
the right walk home could bring. I knew you would dance
like that. Before you were mine, your Ma stands at the close
with a hiding for the late one. You reckon it's worth it.
The decade ahead of my loud, possessive yell was the best one, eh?
I remember my hands in those high-heeled red shoes, relics,
and now your ghost clatters toward me over George Square
till I see you, clear as scent, under the tree,
with its lights, and whose small bites on your neck, sweetheart?
Cha cha cha! You'd teach me the steps on the way home from Mass,
stamping stars from the wrong pavement. Even then
I wanted the bold girl winking in Portobello, somewhere
in Scotland, before I was born. That glamorous love lasts
where you sparkle and waltz and laugh before you were mine.
First person
narrative,
personal tone
Ten years before
the poets birth
Her mother
Before you were mine
Laid out in regular
form like a photo
album
I'm ten years away from the corner you laugh on Images of a carefree and
with your pals, Maggie McGeeney and Jean Duff. happy world
The three of you bend from the waist, holding
each other, or your knees, and shriek at the pavement.
Marilyn Monroe
Your polka-dot dress blows round your legs. Marilyn.
Vibrant colour
Reminder
this is
before the
poet’s
birth
Image suggest life
of excitement
represents
glamour and
fame
I'm not here yet. The thought of me doesn't occur
in the ballroom with the thousand eyes, the fizzy, movie tomorrows
the right walk home could bring. I knew you would dance
like that. Before you were mine, your Ma stands at the close
with a hiding for the late one. You reckon it's worth it.
Mine meaning
Buzz of the unknown, thrill of
the chase
“my mother”
She is recognising that once her
mother had a life which she couldn’t
imagine having a child
Memory of the
poet as a child
This person is
now dead
The decade ahead of my loud, possessive yell was the best one, eh?
I remember my hands in those high-heeled red shoes, relics,
and now your ghost clatters toward me over George Square
till I see you, clear as scent, under the tree,
with its lights, and whose small bites on your neck, sweetheart?
Appeals to sense
of smell
New stanza
for change of
perspective
Teaches
her
daughter
to dance
Suggested
passion
Uncomfortable
irony?
Her memories of shoes link
back to her mothers past
Cha cha cha! You'd teach me the steps on the way home from Mass,
stamping stars from the wrong pavement. Even then
I wanted the bold girl winking in Portobello, somewhere
in Scotland, before I was born. That glamorous love lasts
where you sparkle and waltz and laugh before you were mine.
Suggests the
poet wanted
her mother
even before
she was born
Links back to
Marilyn Monroe
Suggests
youth and
enjoyment
Download
Related flashcards

English novelists

47 cards

English poems

31 cards

English chroniclers

37 cards

Create Flashcards