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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic collection of poetic genius.
As an A level english lit student I was overjoyed when handed this collection as my set poetic text. I was especially interested in the way that Duffy looks at memory processes in this collection. She seems not only to be interested in what aspects of the past she looks at but how she achieves the thought.
A great poem is "Cafe Royal" Which depicts a...
Published on 14 May 2002

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars better than expected
I was compleetly put off by Duffy at GCSE, so luckily only two of her poems from the anthology are included in 'Mean Time' ('Valentine' and 'Before You Were Mine'. Some of her poems I absolutely hate for example 'Stuffed' is pretty disturbing, also some of the poems are very confusing like 'Small Female Skull', however some are fantastic, like Nostalgia and Prayer...
Published on 5 May 2002


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic collection of poetic genius., 14 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Mean Time (Paperback)
As an A level english lit student I was overjoyed when handed this collection as my set poetic text. I was especially interested in the way that Duffy looks at memory processes in this collection. She seems not only to be interested in what aspects of the past she looks at but how she achieves the thought.
A great poem is "Cafe Royal" Which depicts a young man wishing he could go back in time and save Oscar Wilde from his fate in prison. "Before you were mine" is also equally brilliant. Duffy addresses so many lifestyles and situations in this collection it is almost impossible for it not to relate in some way to every reader. A massive thumbs up!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy, A Personal Perspective, 30 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Mean Time (Paperback)
Let me begin by saying that Carol Ann Duffy is a poetic genius. She stands alone in the world of poetry with an extreme confidence to tackle taboo subjects such as sex and disease etc. which other poets wouldn't dare speak about. For example; in 'Litany' Duffy speaks of subjects that others don't tend to speak of, in standard, conventional poems.
"where no one has cancer, or sex, or debts, and certainly not leukaemia , which no one could spell"
Some people may assume that Duffy's work represents the pessimistic views of today's society, but in my opinion, the way you interpret the poets is a personal touch to the understanding of the poems. Duffy has an extreme talent for stimulating the imagination and creativity of her audiences.
'Mean Time' reflects life experiences by Duffy herself which she interpreted and condensed into an anthology of profound poems. My personal favourite from 'Mean Time' is 'Welltread' as it represents schools in a stereotypical way. For example; in every school there is always one teacher that purposely attempts to intimidate his students, the one person everyone is scared of. This poem also portrays how small situations, when you are young can stay with you for the rest of your life.
"Still smoudlering"
This anthology is for you if you enjoy reading poems that are profound and have meaning. Carol Ann Duffy does not specialise in romanticism like many other conventonal poets do, but down-to-earth, realistic situations, which everyone can relate to in some shape or form.
I honestly enjoyed analysing this anthology of poems for my English literature A-level, but if I weren't specialising in English, I would've read 'Mean Time' for pleasure anyway.
This anthology truly reflects Carol Ann Duffy best work, and is well worth the time and money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving and sometimes disturbing, yet always compelling., 10 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Mean Time (Paperback)
I think Mean Time contains many excellent poems. I particularly liked 'Before You Were Mine', because Duffy speaks about her mothers youth in such a wonderful way.
'Small Female Skull' is also a very interesting poem, because it could be interpreted in many ways.Is she talking about herself or a lover?The humour within this poem is also very interesting, as it may be seen as irony.
I liked 'First Love' and 'Sleeping', as they were both very passionate, and I felt I could relate to Duffy's feelings and emotions.Her lusty poems could reflect heterosexual views as well as gay ones, which gives her poems the freedom to relate to everyone.They are not exclusive to lesbians.
If you like Duffy, then this book is certainly worth reading.I personally liked her poems about love and lust the most as they were very sensual. yet firm.I think it is a good collection on the whole.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant collection of poetry in every repect., 14 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Mean Time (Paperback)
This is a wonderful collection of poems, some of Duffy's best.
The title, "Mean Time" is an ongoing theme through the book which appears in many of the poems.
Some of the poems are clearly about personal experience for example, "Before You Were Mine" which is written about Duffy's mother. Others are moving accounts of situations which Duffy obviously has strong feelings about.
If you've never read any of Duffy's work before then i would recommend this as a very good book to start with. Some of the poems are quite difficult to understand, but by studying other poems in the collection, the meanings become apparent.
My favourite poem from this selection is "Sleeping". Consider the second stanzer: "Your mouth is hot fruit, wet, strange, night-fruit I taste with my opening mouth; my eyes closed." I think this is brilliant because it allows the reader to feel as though they are inside the poem through the descriptions used.
Carol Ann Duffy has a great talent for stimulating the creative mind of the reader and "Mean Time" is no exeption.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Student Debt on its own, 18 May 2007
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This review is from: Mean Time (Paperback)
Some people meet the loves of their lives at University; some people find their best friend there. I found both: Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy.

Her writing has the perfect formula: brevity and impact; emotion and recognition. Duffy has a way of hitting you with a single word that leaves you quite breathless but it is the number of times one recognises oneself in her writing that is quite startling. Read this and you will say, "Yes, that is it, exactly, that is how it feels." Duffy knows; Duffy understands...

Mean Time will live with me, on my shelf, and in my head. This is Duffy at her best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mean Time, 30 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Mean Time (Paperback)
Brilliant collection of Duffy poems - one of the best collections I have read. Would recommend this to people who enjoy more contemporary poetry,
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Studied it years ago, still love it, 5 April 2006
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C. Oflaherty "llywco" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mean Time (Paperback)
I love this collection of poetry. Read it to yourself, read it out loud, share it with friends.
There are so many different emotions and relationships explored in this collection its impossible for someone not to find several that touch them. I personally love Adultery for its imagery, Closer just because and Moments of Grace because its beautiful. There are many more that I enjoy.
I've found it to be a book I come back to time and again. I made notes in it when I was a student and fine that my interpretation has changed over the years as I've experienced more of the subjects covered in the book.
I've also found that a poem can be used to start discussions and its a collection that easily accessible even to those who don't generally read poetry.
Don't let the Onion poem from GCSE put you off, this one is for grown ups!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Mean Time (Paperback)
A great buy and didn't take long to come at all.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars better than expected, 5 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Mean Time (Paperback)
I was compleetly put off by Duffy at GCSE, so luckily only two of her poems from the anthology are included in 'Mean Time' ('Valentine' and 'Before You Were Mine'. Some of her poems I absolutely hate for example 'Stuffed' is pretty disturbing, also some of the poems are very confusing like 'Small Female Skull', however some are fantastic, like Nostalgia and Prayer.
So my message is don't be put off by preconceptions, itis a very interesting collection, although it is expensive!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius, 13 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Mean Time (Paperback)
Carol Ann Duffy appeared in my GCSE Anthology and also we have to study Mean Time at present in my AS level course. I have to say these are some of the most thought out, well structured poems ever written. They are so precise and perfect. Carol Ann Duffy is a poetic genius, long live her...umm... poems.
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Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy (Paperback - 23 May 2013)
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