A clear and concise thesis. We are expecting focus to be on ‘environment and culture’ in the poems with comments on the emotional range of pain, delight and poignancy to be evident.
Duffy uses culture as a context for exploring childhood memory in ‘Captain of the Form’, where she adopts a male persona whose unhappy present is reconciled with the idealisation of childhood memory, evoking a real sense of 1960’s Britain, and thereby joining culture as a focus for exploring memory. Hence there is a semantic field of popular culture, through the specific reference to the legendary band “Beatles” and the song title “Pretty Woman” which facilitates an exact sense of time by letting the reader fixate on these cultural features. Duffy is implying that experience and therefore memory is affected by the interaction of culture. In ‘Blackberry Picking’, Heaney talks about the memory of the joy of picking fruit and the subsequent disappointment when it rots, so in contrast to popular culture, there is a semantic field associated with rural Ireland “Hayfields”, “briars” “cornfields”, “potato drills” that demonstrate the child’s affinity with the natural setting. Both poets demonstrate the importance of environment by using language: Heaney using sensory language of sense, sound and touch; Duffy using language to explore the interaction of culture on memory.
We need more textual evidence of ‘the idealisation of childhood memory’ here. Although there is a contrast made - the interaction of culture on memory and sensory language - Heaney’s semantic field is the only textual detail. More is needed to make this contrast clear in the language. In addition, both poets create specific moods through the choice of verbs. The poem