Duffy: Poetry and Carol Ann Duffy Essay

Submitted By sophieaspey
Words: 337
Pages: 2

Giving a voice to those on the margins is one of Carol Ann Duffy’s main focuses and ideas when writing poetry. She portrays this impressionist view in many different ways, one being writing about the way people may feel displaced; ‘Head of English’ is one of Duffy’s poems which displays a form of displacement; it’s a monologue in which Duffy caricatures the teacher’s style of speech. The ‘poet in the class’ is made known very quickly that one is not welcome by not the students but the teacher because of the possibility of the poet being a threat to the teacher’s own status. From the start of the poem to the end the speakers tone is belittling and dismissive – ‘a real live poet’, ‘notice the ink stained fingers’- But it becomes apparent that the teacher isn’t perhaps as confident in her understanding of the subject as she wishes to be. The speaker/teacher confronts her class as “girls”, which seems slightly to patronising to be said in secondary school. Her linguistic knowledge, too, is uncertain and she mixes metaphors ‘on with the Muse’ and uses clichés ‘we don’t want winds of change about the place’. Ironically, the teacher thinks she is a better poet than the visitor, who has a ‘published book’- I believe the teacher tries her hardest to make herself feel as confident as possible and in some way show of in front of the poet to impress her students- this teacher does not want to open any new doors or have her ability (which is uncertain) undermined by the outsider. In