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We Remember your childhood well
Transcript of We Remember your childhood well
Carol Ann Duffy
Your questions were answered fully. No. That didn't occur.
You couldn't sing anyway, cared less. The moment's a blur, a film fun
laughing itself to death in the coal fire. Anyone's guess.
'forced' is a dominance and a threat of fear to a child. The repetition of 'you' also is directing an intimidating tone to the reader/child.
'Here are the pictures' proving that the adult is right or correcting the child's memories forcing them to return back to that moment.
'..younger' How time has passed. Youth also suggests a naivety to life and its turmoils.
'The whole thing is inside your head' suggests that the child has fabricated these scenarios or the adult is denying or knowledge.
How well do you remember your childhood?
These images are strong reminders of my own childhood.
What 5 things would remind you of yours?
The text starts to become unclear here and we are unclear of the events that the adult is speaking of with the child.
There is a clear dominance from the parent also with 'No.' 'That didn't occur'.
The parent also begins to acknowledge some of the events they are talking about with 'you couldn't sing anyway...' Their position begins to become less clear.
Nobody forced you. You wanted to go that day. Begged. You chose
the dress. Here are the pictures. Look at you. Look at us all,
Smiling and waving, younger. The whole thing is inside your head.
Nobody hurt you. Nobody turned off the light and argued
with somebody else all night. The bad man on the moors
was only a movie you saw. Nobody locked the door.
The parent denies that the child was ever hurt or mistreated
in any way,
although it's clear that the child remembers things very differently...
The poem is a dramatic monologue.
It is a conversation between an angry parent speaking and a grown-up child.
The parent is correcting the child's recollection of their childhood experiences and denying that they were ever hurt or mistreated in any way.
It is also reminiscent of the well know adult saying 'I remember my childhood well...'
The poem has 6 stanzas with 3 lines per stanza and are usually of same length.
We don't know if the adult is male or female or the child. The relationship may be deliberately vague to represent that any parent and child relationship could be this way.
Line 1 'Nobody, Nobody' is a deliberate use of repetition to emphasize negativity.
The use of language such as 'hurt' gives us imagery of pain being inflicted upon a child.
'Nobody turned off the light' could be linked to the child being afraid of the dark, a strong link to Lizzie 6.
The poem is written mainly in past tense.
'The bad man on the moors..' is directly linked to fear in children but is completely denied as existing in this poem.
What you recall are impressions; we have the facts/ We called the tune.
The secret police of your childhood were older and wiser than you, bigger
than you. Call back the sound of their voices. Boom Boom Boom.
Nobody sent you away. That was an extra holiday, with people
you seemed to like. They were firm, there was nothing to fear.
There was none but yourself to blame if it ended in tears.
What does it matter now? no, no, nobody left the skid marks of sin
on your soul and laid you wide open for hell. You were loved.
Always. We did what was best. We remember your childhood well.
There is the use of repetition throughout. (No/Nobody)
There is a rhythm but it is jerky with short sentences that gives a feeling of awkwardness.
There is also rhyme but it is not regular. Sometimes it occurs at the end of sentences.