Education for Leisure
This poem uses a persona to explore the mental state of a person who decides to commit murder. It is important to realise that the views of the first person "I" are those of a character and not Duffy.
Dramatic, violent first line to the poem, which is very immediate with the “today” and the present tense. Personal pronoun “I” sets up a persona.
Suggests that the persona is not bothered about what he or she kills, just wants to kill for pleasure. There are a lot of short, simple sentences in this poem and this makes us think, perhaps, that the speaker is not very intelligent.
Perhaps we feel a little sympathy for the speaker, if this is true.
Rather egotistical, to play God. It also reveals a Biblical awareness in the speaker, although he or she does not have a very positive impresssion of God: "play" suggests that God is not really compassionate, but views humans as toys.
With this metaphor/personification, the speaker projects his or her feelings directly onto the street. This again suggests the speaker's egotism, in that he or she thinks their mood directly influences everything else.
The jump from the death of the fly to studying Shakespeare at school is very sudden and startles the reader. It suggest that his or her mind is unhinged, making connections that others wouldn’t normally see. But perhaps, too, it suggests that the speaker is quite intelligent, or at least creative. Perhaps that creativity was ignored at school, however, where the speaker clearly feels they learned nothing about Shakespeare.
Metaphor, suggesting again his or her egotism. With every breath, his or her talent flows out.
Speaker sounds resentful, that those opportunities have not been given.
The speaker shows the strange creative associations again. He or she associates genius with changing the world, and one way to change the world, for someone, is to kill them. A very unhinged thought-process.
This line has Biblical connotations, echoing Genesis I: “And God saw that it was good.” It suggests the speaker’s egotism again, that he or she thinks of themselves as a god.
This means collecting dole money. In other words, the speaker is unemployed.
Think about the connotations of the word: In the speaker’s mind, he or she is a celebrity, and it should be an honour for those people to get his or her autograph.
More egotism. But is there a sense of desperation? A reaching out and an attempt to communicate? A need for human contact?
Ambiguous. Why do the pavements glitter? With blood? Tears?
The second person pronoun makes it chilling for the reader as it directly involves us. But what do we make of it? Again it is ambiguous? Is the speaker touching your arm to stab you, or perhaps to get your help?
Compares well with...