In most poems by Carol Ann Duffy the reader gets a sense of sadness and attachment to the past. Duffy uses the past as a connecting point to make the poem more effective in its message such as anecdotes to make the described situation funnier.
An example for this is the poem "Litany" in which Carol Ann Duffy talks about her nostalgia for her childhood especially the time in which she experienced what the real life is about. This was because no-one talked about the negative and unpleasant sides of life, therefore Duffy prefers to look back instead of just being satisfied with life as it is today, as it seems that life in the past was more pleasant, as is shown in many others of her poems as well. She does not really say these things but she expresses them through some key phrases. These phrases can be spotted by the reader easily as they are often very popular. An example is
"The taste of soap."
This gives the reader suddenly the image of the girl, who has to wash out her mouth with soap as a punishment because she said something rude or forbidden. Some of the readers might even remember those situations from their own experience. With that sentence, which is very skilful used by Carol Ann Duffy, she evokes an atmosphere of the past times which everyone can easily imagine and think of. To describe the attitude of a typical woman in these times she uses one of the regular meetings of her mother with her friends who are looking at a catalogue. This gives a simple and nearly uneducated picture of these women which even reaches the peak when Duffy tells that they all wanted the same (unnecessary) things from the catalogue. It could be that Carol Ann Duffy sometimes misses these meetings of her mother's friends as it seemed to be fun for her to watch them and to shock them by saying things no-one dared to say because they thought it was embarrassing to talk about.
"A boy in...