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'Stealing' by Carol Ann Duffy

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Paul Hanson

on 16 September 2013

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Transcript of 'Stealing' by Carol Ann Duffy

'Stealing' by Carol Ann Duffy
Understanding Imagery
Objective: to develop your ability to interpret the ideas behind the images.
'Stealing' by Carol Ann Duffy

The most unusual thing I ever stole? A snowman.
Midnight. He looked magnificent; a tall, white mute
beneath the winter moon. I wanted him, a mate
with a mind as cold as the slice of ice
within my own brain. I started with the head.

Better off dead than giving in, not taking
what you want. He weighed a ton; his torso,
frozen stiff, hugged to my chest, a fierce chill
piercing my gut. Part of the thrill was knowing
that children would cry in the morning. Life's tough.

Sometimes I steal things I don't need. I joy-ride cars
to nowhere, break into houses just to have a look.
I'm a mucky ghost, leave a mess, maybe pinch a camera.
I watch my gloved hand twisting the doorknob.
A stranger's bedroom. Mirrors. I sigh like this - Aah.
It took some time. Reassembled in the yard,
he didn't look the same. I took a run
and booted him. Again. Again. My breath ripped out
in rags. It seems daft now. Then I was standing
alone among lumps of snow, sick of the world.

Boredom. Mostly I'm so bored I could eat myself.
One time, I stole a guitar and thought I might
learn to play. I nicked a bust of Shakespeare once,
flogged it, but the snowman was the strangest.
You don't understand a word I'm saying, do you?
First Impressions
What happens in the poem about?
Who is speaking?
What is the
tone (mood)
?

Discuss with your shoulder partner what you think the poem is really about (it's
theme
)?
Imagery
What, to you, are the most striking images? Once you've pick four, discuss what you think they mean with your shoulder partner.
Interpreting Meaning
In your books, write about what you think the following quotations mean. This needs to be done in full answers.
'I wanted him, a mate/with a mind as cold as the slice of ice/within my own brain.'
'Better off dead than giving in, not taking/what you want.'
'Part of the thrill was knowing/that children would cry in the morning.'
Poetic Devices
Before we proceed further with our analysis, can you identify any of the poetic devices that we've been learning about recently?
Work alone at first and then with your shoulder partner.
Making Links
Which quotations would you link to each of the following and why?
'Sometimes I steal things I don't need.' (Line 11)
'Boredom. Mostly I'm so bored I could eat myself.' (Line 21)
'The most unusual thing I ever stole?' (Line 1)
Extended Answer
Answer the following question using
PEACE
:
Point
Evidence
Analysis
Cross-reference (making links)
Effect on reader

Question: why did the speaker steal the snowman?
Exemplar Answer
The speaker in the poem seems angry at life: 'I took a run
and booted him. Again. Again.' The repeated kicking of the snowman ('Again. Again.') shows that the speaker is lashing out in frustration that the snowman 'didn't look the same'. Similarly, they seem to want others to feel the same pain as them: the metaphor 'I'm a mucky ghost, leave a mess' suggests that he/she deliberately spoils others' things but is cowardly and has to sneak around; 'Part of the thrill was knowing/that children would cry in the morning' indicates that they seem to want others to hurt as much as them.
Interpreting Meaning
In your books, write about what you think the following quotations mean. This needs to be done in full answers.
I wanted him, a mate
with a mind as cold as the slice of ice
within my own brain.
Part of the thrill was knowing
that children would cry in the morning.
The speaker in the poem seems angry at life:
'I took a run
and booted him. Again. Again.'
The repeated kicking of the snowman (
'Again. Again.'
) shows that the speaker is lashing out in frustration that the snowman
'didn't look the same'
. Similarly, they seem to want others to feel the same pain as them: the metaphor
'I'm a mucky ghost, leave a mess'
suggests that he/she deliberately spoils others' things but is cowardly and has to sneak around;
'Part of the thrill was knowing/that children would cry in the morning'
indicates that they seem to want others to hurt as much as them.
The
speaker
in the poem seems angry at life: 'I took a run
and booted him. Again. Again.' The repeated kicking of the snowman ('Again. Again.') shows that the speaker is lashing out in frustration that the snowman 'didn't look the same'. Similarly, they seem to want others to feel the same pain as them: the
metaphor
'I'm a mucky ghost, leave a mess' suggests that he/she deliberately spoils others' things but is cowardly and has to sneak around; 'Part of the thrill was knowing/that children would cry in the morning' indicates that they seem to want others to hurt as much as them.
The
speaker in the poem seems angry at life
: 'I took a run
and booted him. Again. Again.' The repeated kicking of the snowman ('Again. Again.')
shows that the speaker is lashing out in frustration
that the snowman 'didn't look the same'.
Similarly
,
they seem to want others to feel the same pain as them
: the metaphor 'I'm a mucky ghost, leave a mess'
suggests that he/she deliberately spoils others' things but is cowardly and has to sneak around
; 'Part of the thrill was knowing/that children would cry in the morning'
indicates that they seem to want others to hurt as much as them
.
Full transcript