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Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy, A Personal Perspective
on 30 March 2001
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.
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.