Analysis of Carol Ann Duffy’s Poem Shooting Stars

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Words: 695 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Words: 695|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Carol Ann Duffy’s poem entitled ‘Shooting Stars’ originally published in her first anthology “The World’s Wife” in 1999 is an emotive recount of the treatment of Jewish prisoners of the Holocaust during WWII. Whilst Duffy was not personally involved in the events that she explores in ‘Shooting Stars’, she appropriates a first person narrative voice. The views she expresses in the poem are largely consistent with mainstream values attitudes and beliefs of much of the Western world, post WWII, with regard to the inhumane treatment of Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.

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Bizarre word decisions is one of the strategies used to keep the readers enthusiasm for the poem. The main example of this is toward the start of the opening line in 'after I no again speak, they break our fingers to salvage my wedding ring'. This depicts one of the Jews as claiming to be dead to make sure she doesn't need to endure suffering any longer. The Nazis break this current Jew's fingers with the goal that they can make her hand over the ring. The word 'salvage' for the most part proposes somebody is saving something of significant worth to them from destruction, this makes the Nazis sound like creatures, as they imagine that the wedding ring is more important to them than the current individual's life. This is effective as an opening line as it gets the readers consideration and they feel compassion toward the Jews. Therefore, at this point the reader feels they need to read on. Alliteration word usage is another strategy utilized by Duffy to keep the readers interest. Another case of this is in the third stanza in 'stars on all our brows, beneath the gaze of. Men with guns’. The delicate 'b' sound portrays the Jews, while the cruel 'g' sound depicts the Nazis. This is successful as it mirrors the activities of both the Nazis and Jews. This gets the readers clinched as the Jews are the delicate exploited people, and the Nazis are barbarous oppressors. The readers interest is then kept up and they need to perceive what befalls the Jews next.

Metaphors are likewise a skill utilized in the poem. One case of this is in the second stanza in 'mourn for the daughters upright as statues, brave'. This alludes to the Jews standing and holding up before they get shot, and by alluding to them as 'statues' recommends that they are noble during their most recent couple of minutes of life. In any case, it additionally recommends that they are petrified and can't move accordingly. This is successful as the reader feels compassion toward the Jews and hatred for the Nazis. Subsequently, this gets the reader connected.

Another strategy utilized in ‘shooting stars’ is repetition in remember, remember these appaling days that make the world forever bad’. Duffy needs us to remember this horrifying day and authorizes this through the repetition of the word ‘remember’. The utilization of a capital ‘R’ is the start of ‘remember' additionally emphasises this. Duffy needs individuals to prevent this from regularly happening once more. This is amazingly viable as the reader is profoundly disheartened by the occasions of the poem, and the manner in which the writer is urgently attempting to keep this from proceeding later on. This keeps the reader intrigued and makes them need to read on.

The utilization of second person narrative is another method utilized in the poem in 'how would you prepare to die'. This is straightforwardly aimed for the reader to include them in the poem. The reader feels like they are really there, and this individual is asking us the question. This is viable as it is asking the reader how they would set themselves up to pass away and along these lines we can't get away from the repulsiveness of the circumstances. The readers interest is effectively kept up as they are being engaged with the poem.

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The strategies utilized in this poem are powerful in getting and keeping up the readers interests. The utilization of the second person narrative specifically accomplished this most drastically as it included the reader and forced them to confront the truth of these unfortunate casualties persevered. 

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Analysis Of Carol Ann Duffy’s Poem Shooting Stars. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Analysis Of Carol Ann Duffy’s Poem Shooting Stars.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022,
Analysis Of Carol Ann Duffy’s Poem Shooting Stars. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Analysis Of Carol Ann Duffy’s Poem Shooting Stars [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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