Stealing by Carol Ann Duffy

375 Words2 Pages
“Stealing” by Carol Ann Duffy The poem “Stealing” by Carol Ann Duffy makes use of the first person style and is written as a dramatic poem, a well written poem with the speaker’s comments. The thief begins like he/she is repeating a question someone has asked he/she, to identify the most unusual things that he/she has stolen. The speaker is apparently relating his/her various thefts, perhaps to a police officer, perhaps to a social worker or probation officer. he/she realizes that the person at the end of the poem that he/she is talking to cannot understand his outlook and his perspective on life. The poem is rather bleak and almost suggests that anti-social behaviour is almost inevitable. The speaker sees the consequences of his actions but has no compassion for his victims. The final stanza seems more honest, for the thief's real motivation emerges - boredom, which comes from his inability to make or do anything which gives pleasure. The theft of the guitar is typically self-deceiving, he/she thinks that he/she “might/learn to play” but the reader knows this will not happen because it takes time and patience, neither of which he/she possess. Stealing the “bust of Shakespeare” also seems ironic to the reader, the thief takes an image of one of the greatest creative talent the world has ever seen, but without any sense of what it stands for. The final line, which recalls the poem's conversational opening, is as if the speaker has sensed not just that the person he is speaking to is disturbed by his confession but also that the reader of the poem doesn't “understand” him. This poem is colloquial but the speaking voice here is very distinct. Sometimes the speaker uses striking images (“a mucky ghost”) and some unlikely vocabulary (“he looked magnificent”) but he also uses clichés (“Life's tough”). Single words are written as sentences
Open Document