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Hour by Carol Ann Duffy
Transcript of Hour by Carol Ann Duffy
"even a single hour" shows that time is precious and that even one hour with love is still precious and should be treasured, even one hour of love is better then having no love. like the saying "is it better to have loved and lost that love or to have never loved at all". It has a lot of natural imagery "The whole summer sky and a grass ditch" this shows that she believes that it creates more meaningful memories than artificial thingss which is shown in the previous line by "Spend it not on flowers or wine" which shows she hates romance. on a deeper scale, it also shows the gravitational force of love and the vast scale shows that love can be high "the summer sky" or it can be low "a grass ditch" Structure 1st Stanza- every other line has enjambment for example "we find an hour together spend it not on flowers" Here, it shows that the line has been cut off mid-sentence as a way to create a flow from one line to the next. Because it is only used on every other line, it could also show that love may have small hiccups along the way, but if you work hard to make it work, it flows easily, hence the use of enjambment which makes the words flow. Form
2nd Stanza- Strong treasure imagery, "like treasure on the ground; the Midas light" Tells us that time is precious, like gold dust. Also, "on the ground relates to "a grass ditch" from the previous stanza suggesting the poem expresses the beauty of love- how it can be natural and simple. On deeper terms, "Midas Light" relates to the Greek Myth of how love is timeless. Perhaps the purpose of "Hour" is to be realistic (love is not a fairy tale and two people do not have "forever") delivering the message of how time is precious and limited, so should not be taken for granted.
"time slows, for here we are millionaires, backhanding the night" This shows that the people are rich in love/ with love and appreciate love more because of the precious little time they have. the commars slow the sentace, further showing the slowing time.
3rd Stanza- The word 'end' is harsh and represents the reality of love and relationships. "shining hour" relates to the treasure as mentioned in the 2nd stanza this is because treasure is often considered to shine. This continues the theme of wealth which runs throughout the poem. This also continues into the the next line with "no jewel". Secondly, th phrase "cuckoo spit" links into clock (as in the cuckoo in a grandfather clock which signals the hours). This show that even nature is effected by time because cuckoos live in natural habitats. The word "grass" int the next sentence also refers to nature and to simplicity which also runs as a continuous theme. Finally, the phrase "no chandelier or spotlight see you better lit" implies that there is fake light, this could link to the idea of a fake relationship. 4th Stanza- The repetition of the word "gold" is another example of the treasure imagery running all the way through the poem. It signifies how rare and precious love is and how you have to constantly work at it, this is shown in love spins gold from straw because the word "spins" insinuates that you have to take an active part in trying to sustain a good relationship. Also, gold is a very unreactive metal which is one reason why it is used in jewellery because it lasts a long time. A reason why the poet may have chosen to use this metal is because it could signify the durability of love and how it is unaffected by the limited amount of time it has. 2nd Stanza- Enjambent has been used for every line in the stanza, "For thousands of seconds we kiss; your hair" shows this. Here each line has been cut off mid sentence to continue on to the next, interrupting the flow of words. This may have been used to show deeper meanings, for example enjambent could represent the rude interruption of time and its continuous presence, affecting their relationship- perhaps stopping the couple from progression- slowing them down; this is the effect enjambent has on the reader when reading the poem.
3rd Stanza- Similar to the 2dn stanza, emjambment has been used to break up the flow of words for example "no jewel can hold a candle to the cuckoo spit; hung from the blade of grass at your ear". Once again, enjambment has been used to break up the low of the poem which could represent the reality of love and relationships. 4th Stanza- Enjambment is used inbetween the 3rd stanza, "see you better lit" and the 4th stanza, "than here". This shows the clumsiness of love and highlights how relationships aren't always perfect. Also, the pause could reflect how it is sometimes difficult in relationships to say what you feel and shows how you may need to take time to be able to communicate your feelings properly. Additionally, the use of a couplet instead of a four line stanza to end the poem could signify time running out. 2nd Stanza- Rhyme scheme "cdcd". For example, "hair", "light", "here" and "night". Here every other line rhymes, this means the poem flows nicely allowing the reader to make links and identify patterns within the text. For example "light" and "night" contradict each other. However it could also mean that there is hope for their relationship; light can be seen in the darkness. This could mean that the couple plan to beat time and not let it destroy their relationship. Interestingly this links with the last line in the stanza which states, "we are millionaires backhanding the night". Therefore Duffy's clever use of rhyme builds up to the final line;the couple can overcome the constant annoyance of time.
3rd Stanza- The 3rd stanza follows all the same patterns as the previous stanzas which implies that nothing is changing within the poem. This could link to the deeper meaning of imperfect relationships as their relationship is at a stand still as nothing is happening. Once again, the rhyme scheme follows CdCd to give a child like feel. This has been done to contradict the truth of relationships and make the poem feel like a fairytale or a 'perfect relationship'. 4th Stanza- structured in a sonnet form- the traditional form for a love poem - through its use of a rhyming couplet. The rhyme scheme here is gg and having the rhymes on each line without a line inbetween them reflects the closeness between a couple. Both lines share similar rhythms, with line 1 in stanza 4 having 9 syllables and the second line having 8. This shows how while couples clearly have to have things in common, they also have their differences too. 1st Stanza- every other line has enjambment for example "we find an hour together spend it not on flowers" Here, it shows that the line has been cut off mid-sentence as a way to create a flow from one line to the next. Because it is only used on every other line, it could also show that love may have small hiccups along the way, but if you work hard to make it work, it flows easily, hence the use of enjambment which makes the words flow. Context Born on 23rd December 1955 in Glasgow, Scotland
She is Britain's first female poet Laureate (2009).
Her poems address issues such as oppression, gender and violence in an accessable language that makes them popular in schools.
She uses dramatised scenes from her childhood, adolescence and adult life in her poetry.
She uses simplistic language to create effect quoting, "I like to use simple words, but in a complicated way".
As a lesbian, her cynical view of convention and conventional love especially, comes across strongly.