Commentary On "Stealing" By Carol Ann Duffy

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Stealing ‘Stealing’ is a poem by Carol Ann Duffy, where a thief recounts his motives for stealing, as well as some of the more unusual objects he has taken. Loneliness and the persona’s search for a companion is the prominent theme presented throughout. This is first alluded to in the first stanza, where it is made immediately clear that the reason the persona steals is because of his solitude. The poem starts with a rhetorical question, which seems to be a repetition of a question someone has asked him. This suggests that there have been many objects he has stolen over the years, and that picking the “most unusual thing” is difficult. The answer, “A snowman” is very significant. Not only is it the “most unusual thing” he has stolen, and as such, is most likely the most important or noteworthy steal he has, the narrator goes to lengths to emphasize its importance through prose. Firstly, it is a minor sentence. By isolating it, the reader can fully focus on the answer, and realize the magnitude. While describing the snowman and location, the alliteration “m” sound used during “midnight”, “magnificent”, “mute”, “moon” etc. also seems to highlight the key adjectives that paint a very grandeur picture, again emphasizing the importance of the snowman to the narrator. The narrator explicitly states he wants “a mate // with a mind as cold as the slice of ice // within my own brain.” Again, the alliteration of “mate” and “mind” stress the importance of those words—that he is looking for a friend who shares his mind, and understands him. The idea he wants a friend and is willing to go to some lengths to is repeated throughout the poem. The entire second stanza is almost dedicated to how difficult it was to steal the
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