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4.5 out of 5 stars14
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 13 April 2011
Okay, apologies in advance, but this WILL be a bit of an essay.

I didn't really know what to make of the star ratings. I mean, the book arrived within 3 days of my order, which was fab and it was in mint condition, so in terms of delivery and the state of the book, I have no complaints, hence the 5 stars, although I do wish that books like these would specify which "Selected poems" where in the book in the first place!

I imagine it's a good book if the poems in it are relevant to what you're studying, but if like me, you are an A-level student studying Rapture by Duffy (Edexcel English Literature), be warned thst this book is pretty much useless. There's alot that doesn't apply to me, so cheap as the book may have been, it wasn't worth the money.

Seeing as no-one has indicated what's actually inside the thing, I'll take the liberty to let you all know so that no-one else has to waste their money on something that won't help them get a decent grade.

Part 1 is a 2 page intro to studying a poem and reading Carol Ann Duffy's poetry. This is a good section, relevant to anyone really but obviously not worth buying the book for if these are two of the only pages you can use. I will, however, make the most of it before I send the book back!

Part 2 deals with "The Text" which more or less is a brief half page intro to Duffy as a poet, her works and some features of her poetry. This is then followed by detailed summaries of "Standing Female Nude", "Selling Manhattan", "The Other Country", "Mean Time", Other poems, "The World's Wife" and "Feminine Gospels". This all takes us from pages 8 to 88. Then there are 3 extended commentaries from pages 101-109: Text 1- 'The Grammar of Light (Mean Time)', Text 2- 'Pluto (Mean Time)' and Text 3- 'Anne Hathaway (The World's Wife)'.

Part 3 focuses on critical approaches from pages 114-127, starting with the themes of her poems (Childhood, Memory, Love, Relationships and Sexuality, Language, Politics and Time. For Poetic form, the book looks at dramatic monologues and the sonnet. Then there's Imagery.

Part 4 looks at Duffy's critical history. 'A poet for our time- a critical reception of Carol Ann Duffy's work' and 'The Literature act- ways of reading' from pages 128-129.

Part 5 (pages 133-144) gives us an insight to Duffy's background. This includes 'Carol Ann Duffy's life and work', 'Historical and political background', 'Modernism','Feminism' and 'Chronology'.

As is common with other books, there is a section suggesting further reading, literary terms and 'Author of these notes', pages 147-154.

...and that's the book in a nutshell! I hope all found this review useful- I only wish someone would have been so kind as to do so before I bought the book myself, but at least some good has come out of this!
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There is a huge and ever-expanding industry in catering to the demand for greater assistance with understanding major writers than teachers are always able to provide. The notes on books are now legion: a few are outstanding, most offer some useful help, if in a rather tired format and a some are frankly appalling and should be kept as far away from students as possible. Michael Woods' book on Carol Ann Duffy's verse is one of the best.

From the Introduction, in which he describes key features of Ms. Duffy's poetry his comments are perceptive, illuminating and link most successfully together to form a really valuable insight into her writing. The book is simply and helpfully organised. After detailed studies of the poems volume by volume as they were published, Mr Woods goes on to discuss key themes, the use of a range of poetic resources and different views about the poet's achievement. Discussion is detached, unpretentious but recognises a very considerable talent, as surely Carol Ann Duffy is. In the final section he places his subject in relation to Feminism, a persistent theme in her work, and in relation to how poetry has developed in the post-modernist era. There follows a very useful guide to further more specialised study.

Without at any point gushing, Michael Woods establishes his enthusiasm and understanding through careful, thorough and sensitive analysis of a large number of particular poems. The marginal notes that run throut the book as is customary in the York Series are genuinely helpful rather than an irritating distraction as sometimes is the case. Mr. Woods, in my opinion, belongs in the premier league of the literary notes business.
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on 4 May 2009
A first class product. However, as there are several issues of York Notes on this poet's work, some indication regarding which of her poems are reviewed here would have been useful.
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on 24 May 2011
Fantastic guide but it doesn't have any of the poems included in it, so you will need a copy of all your poems beside you as you read.
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on 30 May 2013
I bought this book for my daughter who was taking an AS level in English. It covers and explains all the themes with good links to background reading.
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on 14 March 2012
bought this book to help me with my A2 english coursework, worked a treat!very clear and helpful information in there... would certainly recommend! :)
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on 14 April 2014
Son is studying As English lit ....helpful to have his own books . We were able to discuss and he could annotate each poem given by his teacher.
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on 2 April 2015
Description was accurate and the delivery time was spot on.
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on 30 August 2013
A well written and useful study aid for students. Worth the money paid as I would have to have ordered it from a local shop and would have received it much later.
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on 27 June 2012
My daughter is starting 6th form in September and is taking English Literature. One of the poets being studied is Carol Ann Duffy, so came onto Amazon to look through what books where available.
Poems of Carol Ann Duffy (York Notes Advanced) arrived within days of order and considering it was a second hand book was in perfect condition apart for a couple of foot notes..
My daughter took it to school to show the teacher who was impressed and hinted that she may be borrowing it at the start of the school year.
Will be looking for more used books on Amazon..
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