Analysis of The Long Queen by Carol Ann Duffy

This is an analysis of The Long Queen by Carol Ann Duffy to give you some ideas as to the major features and imagery, structure, metaphors. But really to get to the point what is the message of the poem.


The Long Queen so it starts off the Fleming Gospels and I think it's quite a difficult start which makes it in a way quite a rewarding poem.

So let's look at it starts with "The Long Queen couldn't die" what do we mean by couldn't die. Well, there are ways of interpreting that is it that she's immortal or is it that she's been around a long time. You might say our present Queen has you know had a long reign but at the same time couldn't die might suggest she is immortal. Her effect on mankind has been so powerful that she can never die in our minds as it were.
Young when she bowed her head
Or the cold weight of the crown she'd looked
At the second son of the Earl the foreign prince
The heir to the Duke the Lord the baronet the count
So we got this list again Carol Ann Duffy's very fond of this lists to make a point. Here the list is not of the woman who shopped but it's a list of acquisitions. You might say again you know dating various high ranking officials you might say royalty you know obviously that's the only people that she can mix with those are you know that's the rules really of monarchy, isn't it?

Then taken this time an official requisitioning of time at it like royalty has said you are now to take time to find a husband because you need to promulgate this the royal line as it were you need to produce an heir to the throne so that you can live on.

Hence the ending of the poem long live the Queen you might say taken time. It does make us feel as well though that she's kind of trapped in this royal the set of rules. You know here she is taking time for a husband not the thing we would think about with her husband. You know you'd find a husband through love not through taking time to find one. You know and this list of suitors that she's got to go through to find the right person as it were.
What was she queen of women girls,
Spinsters and hags matrons wet nurses
Witches widows with wives mothers of all these.
So obviously she's queen of women of all kinds you might say. She is though she's queen of a nation perhaps she is also really a representative you might say. The people she really corresponds to or understands are women in all shapes and sizes and roles and representations. Mothers of all of these.
Her word of law was in their bones in the graft
Of their hands in the world kicks of their dancing.
So it in inner behavior you know whether it's royal or not she represents it in a white.

"Unseen here she ruled and reigned okay unseen / in a castle some set in a tower in the dark heart/ of a wood" Well that's just an almost mythical sense to her. the some said is you know is repeated some said some said this alliterative repetition suggesting mythical status. But also isolated a bit like the character in tall who was also isolated a bit like the character in the Map Woman who's also isolated and the woman who shopped.

You know but certainly, until she ends up higher and higher above the people. And in this case she's in a castle or in a wood some said out about in rags disguise sorting the bad from the good.

Notice the rhyme there she sent her explorers away in there creaking ships. While creaking ships and Lee says to me we're talking about Elizabethan times. Here Elizabeth the first the famous Queen who never married. You know sort of known as the Virgin Queen and so maybe we got a link there to Elizabeth the first. But as we know with Carol Ann Duffy this could mean that this could travel through history meaning several different queens or princesses even Royal figures.
All hail to the Queen.
What were her laws?
So now we break it up into certain laws being listed:  So you get childhood, we get Blood.

So with childhood you know we're saying that what were her laws this suggests that certain things are important to her. So childhood suggests that she placed this as a very important part of life not necessarily what Kings would do all men would do you know all grown-ups would do you say. Why childhood so important? but here she's saying yeah this is very important to her. She notices or lists five different type of people growing up and ending with the fourth different types.
The fourth never left,
Scouring the markets and shops for her old books and toys--
So even someone who refuses to grow up it's still an important representation of childhood.

We move on to "blood". Well, blood is very important to royalty, of course, it's proof of royalty as a royal blood.

But it's also as it says here;
royal red of intent the pain when a girl
first bled so menstruation to be insignificant no cause for complaint,
and this to be monthly linked to the moon,
While we're talking about the period obviously we're talking about fertility. So it's not just royal blood or the royal bloodline it's also the representation of fertility. Obviously completely unique to women.

"Childbirth" well obviously once again completely unique to women.
most to lie on the birthing beds,
push till the room screen scarlet
So you know very clear use of alliteration here birthing, bed scream, scarlet children, Borden slithered, into their arms, saw flowers.

Notice that "soft flowers" what a way of describing childbirth. You know it's painful yet it's beautiful you might say it's a nice little phrase you might say. But also screamed scarlet does suggest the pain the agony of childbirth. You know obviously, the man has no idea. But I can see how that is quite visceral in its way of telling us look at the pain of childbirth. It's a necessary rule of life you might say.
some to be godmother aunt, teacher, teller of tall tales, 
Very alliterative, very rhythmical.

but all who were dared to swear that the pain was worth it.
So it's painful but it's part of life and it's worth it because of the love and the joy that arrives through childbirth.
No motherboard daughter not name to honor the Queen. 
So once again we got this sense of this is what the Queen holds dear. The notion of childbirth.

Then we move on to her:
And her pleasures were stories true or false
that came in the evening drifting up on the air
to the high window, she watched from
This high window again the sense of isolation above it all which links us once again to tall links us to maybe the woman who shopped. This continuing sense of isolation of the woman being above it all confession or gossip scandal or anecdote secrets her ear tuned to the light music of girls. Look at this listing again of the attributes you might say or observations to do with her status. "The drums of women" while the drums of women you might also say links us to loud where she has or femininity might say speaking their mind at the outrages of the world. So that's a link to loud.
The faint strings of the old long Queen all her possessions for a moment of time.
Now that's an interesting ending here. So um and also the pain was worth it.

analysis-of-long-queen-by-carol-duffy


Okay so moving on her pleasure stories told in point here all her possessions for a moment of times what a putt I'm wondering about and what does that mean do you think? Well I got to think about this all of a sudden she gave us everything. She had for what is, in the end, a moment in time.

So although she's an immortal queen. You know her reign may be 8090 years you know maybe you know a hundred years we don't know but obviously in the large scale of in the in the life of the world this is a drop in the ocean. It's a moment of time isn't it so she gave her all you might say she and when we say all her possessions well what do we mean.

 It's an interesting way of thinking about a queen a queen you know you think of us as being very rich very looked after but at the same time she is laid bare to the nation really. And all her possessions or what would we consider a possession her of her care her concern for the people she is supposedly ruling over you know. She gives all this for a moment so say here with this scandal gossip scandal anecdote well we all know how the present royal family suffer from gossip scandal and anecdote. You know it's the notion of celebrity these days until anecdote.

So this is a comment on anyone you might say female who has been placed in the position of royalty you know and what her responsibilities are from a feminine aspect.

Hopefully, that's helped you with the meaning in some way the Long Queen a representative of any female ruler. You might say or monarch placed into a position of responsibility you know it's not something they choose necessarily they have to passively accept it that's the notion of royalty.

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