Listen to Your Heart

Listen to Your Heart

In most of Carol Ann Duffy’s poems, I went into it with the mindset that I would probably not have all my questions answered from reading the poems through for the first time. I was right. I could tell that most of the emotions she was trying to describe in words were some that I hadn’t felt in the same way she did, therefore, making it hard for me to understand her writing style. From what I understood from her writing style, she relies heavily on emotions that she has felt in the past and tries to use any words that she can to express them. The only poem that I could relate to was “Free Will.” As I read her words, I could think of a few times when I had felt the same way that she did and it brought a whole new meaning to the poem!

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An important part in understanding poetry is trying to find things in it that we as readers can relate to. Poetry was never my strong suit, but I have found using this method helps me to better understand the “deeper” meaning behind what the author is trying to express. The fact that the girl in this poem is trying to get rid of “nothing” reminded me of myself on numerous occasions. I tend to worry about things that haven’t even happened yet, and find myself loosing sleep and I’m sure my anxiety was “strewn across [my] face.” Although it has no effect on anyone else because it was something that never happened in the first place, it can feel like you have been hurt or changed even if the situation hasn’t changed. I appreciated Duffy’s interpretation of this feeling that was put into words that would be immensely harder for someone who hadn’t felt that before to try and understand.

3 Replies to “Listen to Your Heart”

  1. I loved this poem but this is not what I got out of it, but I love your explanation! I do the same thing and I worry about everything which in reality is nothing.

  2. Kudos, Elizabeth, for sticking to the poetry and thinking about how to read it. Poetry can be difficult, but it does get better with practice.

    It’s interesting to read your take on “Free Will,” which I hadn’t paid much attention to my first time through. As I reread it again after reading your blog post, I think I have a better sense of what’s happening in the poem, although I’m not at all convinced that the speaker is talking about “nothing.”

  3. I can relate to what you’re saying in that I don’t really understand much of this poetry either! I think that not all of the poems have come from her personal experience, but I’m sure many of them have. That’s the cool part about her writing though – she can reach a very wide audience because she presents so many different feelings and situations. Great interpretation of “Free Will”!

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