Carol Ann Duffy: Poems Characters

Carol Ann Duffy: Poems Character List


From Duffy's poem, "Standing Female Nude," the narrator of the poem is simply referred to as "Madame." Throughout the poem, she is describing her experience as being a nude model who is being painted. While she is a poor woman who does not seem to overly enjoy being a nude model, she still contains a light spirit and she is able to maintain her joyful personality. She mentions in the poem that after her modeling session, she will go out with her friends and have a good time (showing she is still having fun even if she does not like her job). She is a very observant individual and throughout the poem she repeatedly takes note of the artist who is painting her, how he is painting her, and why he is choosing to make certain decisions.


The other main character in Duffy's "Standing Female Nude." This character's job as a painter is one that does not supply him with much money or happiness. He often chooses to interpret a painting how he may seem fit (ex. paints Madame how he wants her to look). While he does enjoy painting, he does not enjoy always having to paint nude females, yet these are the images that the bourgeoisie demand these images, so this is what he must create in order to sell his paintings and supply the demand. In many ways he is relatable to Madame, such as their social class standing and their lack of contentment with their current careers.

Narrator of "And How Are We Today?"

The narrator of this poem was never given a name and it is never stated whether the narrator is a man or woman. As the title implies, the narrator is currently visiting a doctor of some sort, most likely a psychologist. The narrator clearly has mental issues, since the individual believes the voices in the radio to be mocking him/her, the narrator thinks the voices in the radio control the weather and the narrator contemplates taking out and eating his/her own eye, among other unusual and concerning behaviors.

Narrator of "Poet for Our Times"

The narrator of this poem once again has no name, but it can be inferred that the narrator is a man. This man's main job is to write the headlines for newspaper articles and he believes himself to be a true "poet for his time," but it is up to the reader to determine whether this writer has the skills and ability to be considered a poet. Because he writes headlines for events, this man now sees history only through headlines and he fantasizes about being able to headline the articles of major events, such as the Titanic sinking.

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