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Talent Analysis

Author: poem of Carol Ann Duffy Type: poem Views: 15

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This is the word tightrope. Now imagine
a man, inching across it in the space
between our thoughts.  He holds our breath.

There is no word net.

You want him to fall, don't you?
I guessed as much; he teeters but succeeds.
The word applause is written all over him.

Submitted by Anne Williams


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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this is a poem where duffy explains how society wants people with special talent and ability to fail

| Posted on 2017-01-29 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2016-04-15 | by a guest

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This is a poem about language and it's relationship with thought. Link it to tantalon, linguistic relativism and determinismand the idea of being able to conceptualise

| Posted on 2014-01-08 | by a guest

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It is about the negative society in which we leave, in how we \"expect him to fall?\" almost as if we want him to fail and not succeed.

| Posted on 2013-04-16 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2012-01-28 | by a guest

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Is it about the power of imagination to connect two people? When imagining the tightrope, the pronouns are collective: \"our thoughts... our breath\". Making human connections can be frightening, and relationships can often hurt. This is the chance you take when you connect with someone; there may be no \"net\". Here Duffy uses metonymy in such a way that we can interpret the word to stand for safety.
Alternatively, I also agree that the poem touches on some aspects of human nature, specifically our desire to be entertained and thrilled. The tightrope artist has power over us in his performance, a dynamic which is made evident by his metaphorical holding of \"our breath\". Duffy\'s knowing tone as she states that we \"want him to fall\" is indicative of the fact that our reactions are predictable, and the confidence perceived in the blunt manner in which she points out this fact is shocking to the reader. Perhaps she is right, we do want him to fail. The suspense is too great. Duffy reitterates how predictable our responses are in the final line as she knows as well as the tightrope artist that he will receive our \"applause\". This formulaic sequence of entertainment (suspense, climax, awe) is used to expose how formulaic our own reactions are, and to point out one of the many strange and unnatractive qualities that being human possesses.

| Posted on 2011-12-05 | by a guest

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This is about a man who maybe in a Movie... or TV show whom is acting as if he is going to be hanged. And it is like he is trying to build a cliffhanger to us. He wants us to feel sympathy for him, and he wants our attention to be drawn to him. \"He holds our breath.\"

| Posted on 2011-04-13 | by a guest

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