Shooting Stars

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“Choose a poem in which the creation of mood or atmosphere is an important feature. Show how the poet creates the mood or atmosphere and discuss its importance in your appreciation of a poem as a whole.”

In the poem ‘Shooting Stars’ by Carol Ann Duffy the poet takes on the persona of a Jewish woman prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, during the Holocaust. As the poem unravels, Duffy creates a bleak and depressing mood. This mood which is created is important to the readers understanding of the poem as it allows the reader to emotionally relate to the woman.

The poet uses an ambiguous title; ‘Shooting Stars.’ Shooting stars has connotations of hope and often when you see a shooting star you make a wish, this might insinuate that the Jews were wishing for freedom. As the content of the poem becomes clear, as does the meaning of the title. The mentioned ‘stars’ are the Stars of David which were sewn onto the Jews clothing. The initial sense of hope that is built from the title diminishes immediately into a depressing mood whilst you realize that the stars which are getting shot are in fact the Jews . The title also introduces the theme of war. The hidden meaning becomes clearer in the first sentence: ‘After I no longer speak they break our fingers.’

This creates an immediate sense of silence and death as the reader realizes that this description is spoken by a dead Jewish woman. This horror is carried on to show the soldier’s greed and brutality. They steal the wedding rings, which are a sign of eternal love yet these soldiers are stealing anything valuable off the Jewish in order to make a profit. This emphasizes the theme of man’s inhumanity to fellow man and how the German soldiers valued jewellery more than human life.. The title stays with the reader and opens the reader to various ideas of the meaning. The clever use of alliteration reinforces the importance of the title.

Throughout the poem Carol Ann Duffy uses poetic techniques such as...
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