Originally - Carol Ann Duffy Analysis

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The composer of the poem 'Originally', Carol Ann Duffy, has created the poem by writing from her past experiences and has drawn on both an emotional and physical journeys of her past. The poem was published in 1990, and is about the persona and her family moving from their homeland of Scotland and emigrating to England. The poem features many techniques used to create the poem and to express not only the physical journey, but the emotional journey travelled by the family and as the children are so young, indicate the possible loss of culture and where they are originally from. The first stanza of the poem is very literal and is about the emigration of the family from Scotland to England. The composer has used figurative language in the words “red room..” referring to the train they are travelling in. As the poem is seen through the perspective of a child, they think the train carriage is a red room as opposed to a long string of carriages. Alliteration is used in the line “…fell through the fields…” as the train speeds through the large sections of the backcountry. Also in the first stanza in the line “My brothers cried, one of them bawling home, Home..” This line expresses the emotional journey travelled by the family as they leave their previous life behind and start again. This emotional journey is also displayed in the line said by the persona “…the vacant rooms, where we didn’t live anymore…” This line gives the reader the impression that the move wasn’t a mutual decision amongst the family and the children aren’t happy about the big change. The line, “I stared at the eyes of a blind toy, holding its paw.” This is a metaphor for the past, the personas childhood is now lifeless but she clutches to it hopelessly. In the first stanza there is a rhyme in the words ‘field’ and ‘wheels’ and also in the words ‘more’ and ‘paw’. This gives the stanza a sense of a pun
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