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Gambler - Carol Anne Duffy

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by

Piers Weston

on 11 February 2014

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Transcript of Gambler - Carol Anne Duffy

Gambler - Carol Ann Duffy
Stanza 2
Or kiss. So Hyperion's tips mean nothing to her , the form, the favorites, whether the going is heavy or firm, the horse a stinker or first-time blinkered. It's words
Stanza 3
She picks, names she ticks. That day it was
Level Headed
at 10-1, two syllables, each to balance the musical chime of
lev
and
head
, the echoing
el
. She backed it to win.
- 6 stanzas with 3 lines for each
- Enjambement with each stanza to the next to show that the Feminist movement is a natural process that cannot be stopped
- Symmetry between the amount of lines and stanzas, not out of the ordinary so quite contrasting to the title 'gambler' as one normally associates gambling with being quite risky
- The character is referred to as 'she' throughout - shows that 'she' is quite mysterious and potentially a risky individual, such as gambling
- Relates to how women are recognised in literature, not given a name just represented as 'she'

Stanza 1
She goes for the sound of the words, the beauty they hold in the movement they make on the air, the shape of the breath of a word leaving her lips like a whistle
Analysis
There is a enjambement between the stanzas to show that the rhyme and flow of the poem is disrupted to show some sort of discontent for 'her' and it is irregular for a poem. Representing that the feminist movement was seen as irregular. Hyperion's tips when researched came up with financial planning and tricks to financial and personal gain so this idea of 'gambling' links in with this. 'She' placed bets on a horse, even though the odds were against it just because its name was poetic.
Analysis
'She' seems to have a passion for literature and language as a whole. Very visual idea of the general idea of speaking literature. Simile describing her lips as a whistle to give out the idea that speaking poetry as 'sharp'
Analysis
Shows her love of literature again, she chose the horse to bet on just because of how it sounded. The odds were 10-1 might represent how the odds were against the feminist movement but they still took that chance to escape oppression and achieve freedom and liberation. 'That day' suggests that she bets on horses a lot suggesting that that's all she can do
Stanza 4
and then on a whim went for
Indian Necta
r at 7-2 to come in next.
Indiannectar. Indiannectar.
She stood in a trance at the counter, singing in over and over
Analysis
Shows how she and perhaps all of the other women in society are going for a 'whim' a chance for a better life but in this case, a win so it is a extended metaphor. She stood in a trance for she is restricted as to what to do, due to this male oppression and repeatedly doing the same things over and over again for that's all she can do
Stanza 5
again in her head which was shy, she guessed, she decided to pick
Sharp Spice
(5-2 fav) to gallop in third - the words seemed to fit. Most days she sits with her stump of a pen.
Analysis
'In her head' - she is unable to express herself due to the restrictions on women in the time. 'She guessed, she decided' this shows her indecisiveness, her lack of ability to accept or come to terms with the simplest of things such as her sexuality 'Sharp Spice' describing her feeling towards men and their hostility towards women.
'Gallop' Horses are strong and majestic, something that women are not seen as in society so the horse race with people betting on the outcome could be a metaphor for men betting and placing odds on women ' her stump of a pen' unable to write due to a lack of recognition in literature and lack freedom

Stanza 6
writing the poem of bets. And how can she lose? Just listen to some of the names that she didn't choose -
Heiress of Meath, Springfieldsupreme, Mavis, Shush, Birth of the Blues
Analysis
'How can she lose?' she has chosen horses that represent success and strength - womens chances of winning or becoming 'equal' both in the race and society are inevitable. Heiress, Birth, Mavis - She didn't choose the horses that represent women and the fact she didn't show them shows the futility they have towards winning. 'Shush' - a signal to be quiet, women didn't have a say on a lot of topics and male dominance would reinforce this
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