Shooting Stars Essay

1171 Words5 Pages
A voice from beyond the grave. ‘Shooting Stars’ by Carol-Ann Duffy is a poem which speaks of the horrific ordeal of a female Jew who died in the Holocaust. When people think of heroic acts and glory, they often think of the great battles fought and won. What they fail to consider is that the greatest heroic figures are often the most unexpected ones. Duffy’s haunting imagery and word choice tell a poem like no other. The title of the poem ‘Shooting Stars’ creates many images in the readers’ mind. It could mean the shooting of the Jews, adorned with the Star of David, or could have a much deeper meaning. Imagine the beautiful but ephemeral burst of light flying through the starry midnight sky and you have Duffy’s metaphor of life itself. The shooting star is beautiful and unique, but it is also dying. Duffy portrays the life of the world itself as a short blast of passion and light, which all must come to end. The title reinforces the fact that any death, no matter how small, is still heroic and brave. The bravery of C-A Duffy’s Jewish woman is overwhelming, what she has to go through, devastating. Duffy takes the form of the dramatic monologue, in which she herself becomes the dead Jewish woman, speaking to us from beyond the terrible mass grave. The poem begins: After I no longer speak, they break our fingers to salvage my wedding ring The image in the readers’ mind is horrific. The word ‘salvage’ shows the brutality and greediness of the Germans who did this to her. This line is written in the present tense, bringing the events of the Holocaust closer to us and shocking us greatly with how this woman's fingers were broken, whilst she was actually still alive. But this poem is not just the tale of the persona's acts of bravery. She is unnamed and therefore, for me, she could be any of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. This is a
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