Analysis Of Quick Draw, Carol Ann Duffy

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Isla McCole Quick draw, Carol Ann Duffy Quick draw by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem highlighting a difficult conversation between supposedly two lovers. The themes are clearly the break down of love, and the way she is trying to hold onto something that’s slipping away; so the gradualness of loss. The poem throughout is an extended metaphor, and the continuation of similes illustrates her constant comparison of her situation to that of an old wild western showdown. The similarities between the two are the tense and pressured atmospheres, the uncertainty of how it will end, and the realisation of the person who knows they are going to end up losing. “Like guns slung from the pockets on my hips”, a simile from the first stanza, becomes a metaphor in the third “In the old last chance saloon”. This may be illustrating how throughout the poem she becomes more and more definite of how her fate will end. Another connotation of the line “in the old last chance saloon” could be that she feels like this is their last chance at the relationship, and that this important part of her life is hanging in the balance. The structure is written in a way that makes it sound like what’s being described. For example “You ring, quick draw, your voice like a pellet in my ear, and hear me groan”. The use of listing and constant commas makes the lines read like pellets are being fired, as if the sections of the sentence are individual stabs of pain being fired at her. The structure is not mirrored the whole way through the poem, and the poet has used enjambment throughout; i.e. “you choose your spot then blast me…” continues into the next stanza as “through the heart”. This disjointed structure is reflecting how her thoughts rush at her quickly like pellets, but then stop, and she begins thinking about another aspect of her situation. In the final stanza she says “down on my
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