A Short Analysis of Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Text’

Interesting Literature

A poem for the texting generation

Carol Ann Duffy’s short poem ‘Text’ might be the first great poem written about texting and text messages. It appeared in her 2005 collection Rapture. You can read ‘Text’ here; this post offers some notes towards an analysis of the poem.

‘Text’ seems straightforward, and it largely is. But in a poem (another form of ‘text’, of course) that is about how the speaker or poet fails to get her meaning across to the addressee (who is the recipient of not just her text messages but of the poem itself), it is fitting that several moments in the poem are ambiguous, the meaning less clear. Consider the simile ‘like an injured bird’ in the second line, which first and foremost refers to the delicate cradling of the mobile phone in one’s hand as if one were handling an injured small bird, such…

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