An Analysis Of 'Originally' By Carol Ann Duffy

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“Originally” is a poem written by Carol Ann Duffy that was published in 1990 and takes reference to a context of Duffy’s own childhood experience of moving from Glasgow, Scotland to England at the age of six. In a literal sense, the persona describes her experience of moving from her “own country” to an unfamiliar place, her inability to adapt to the new environment and at the end reveals her inner hesitation of her true identity. Throughout this poem, Duffy tries to convey the message that one’s childhood experience shapes and has a great effect upon one’s identity.
This poem is written in a childlike register to suit the context of a child’s experience and feelings. In terms of structure, this poem has a regular structure with three stanzas,
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In the first stanza, the persona describes where she came from as “her own country”. The word “own” suggests a strong bond between the persona and her “country” as she sees it as the definite place she identifies as home. Her brother’s bawling behaviour and their repetition of “Home, home” echoes the misery the persona is feeling due to her separation from her “country”. In the lines “the miles rushed back to the city”, personification is used. This highlights her eagerness to reverse the family’s travels and go back to their home in Glasgow, their home and live back at “the street, the house, and the vacant rooms where we didn’t live anymore.” Such urge to go back to where the persona came from reinforces the strong attachment that she has for her “own country”. In the sentence “I want our own country, I said” in the second stanza, “I said” asserts a forceful and certain feeling in to the preceding statement. The repetition of the pronoun “I” makes the reader feel that the attraction and desire for the persona’s “own country” comes merely from her and that her attachment to it is
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