Comparing 'Quickdraw' with 'in Paris with You'

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How do the Poets James Fenton and Carol Ann Duffy Present the Pain of Love in their Poems ‘In Paris with You’ and ‘Quickdraw’? James Fenton and Carol Ann Duffy are both contemporary poets. Their poems ‘In Paris with You’ and ‘Quickdraw’ both include the themes of the pain of love. This essay compares how the two poets present the pain of love in their poems, exploring things such as imagery, vocabulary and form and structure. One way in which the poets present their ideas about the pain of love is through their use of imagery with their poems. For example, they both use metaphors about being ‘wounded’. Fenton’s line ‘I’m one of your talking wounded’ adopts a pun which relates to the expression ‘walking wounded’, used by soldiers to imply resilience. He feels as though love has previously ‘wounded’ him, if not actually finished him off. Similarly, continuing with the theme of violence, Duffy uses an extended metaphor throughout the whole poem which presents the break-up of her relationship as a gunfight in a Western movie. Lexis such as ‘trigger’, ‘silver bullets’, ‘wide of the mark’ and ‘blast me’ presents the effect of breaking up as wounding her physically. The two poets have used differing structures in their poems in places to show the pain of love. In ‘Quickdraw’, in stanzas two and three, Duffy has used very short first lines. At first, the reader may think that these lines are out of place; however, if you put the two lines together, it reads ‘You’ve wounded me through the heart’. This line in particular is very powerful and shows that Duffy has been hurt painfully by the cruel end of her relationship. Contrastingly, Fenton uses a different style to convey his views in ‘In Paris with You’. Stanza three in the poem is contrasting to the other stanzas; it has more lines than any of the others, and no rhyme scheme like the others, who all share the same scheme ABCCB. This may represent the confusion that Fenton is feeling over how he feels about love; the...
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