Form and Structure

The poem consists of 4 unequal stanzas, each measuring 6 and 9 lines. There is no continual rhyme scheme, however the flashes of rhyme could represent the few female writers that were allowed to exist within a canon that has always been engineered to remember only white men. The changes in structure could be used to reflect how women have been undervalued within society in many aspects of their lives. With’ anon’ being repeated every stanza or multiple times per stanza to keep reminding people of the women who were left out.


The poem discusses intentional female anonymity throughout history, especially in regard to the canon of literature specially, and how only white men were chosen to be published and remembered. Duffy suggests that women have been forgotten throughout history, their talents going unnoticed, and shortened to ‘Anon’. 

The aim of the poem is to give a voice to those forgotten women. Although their names are lost, Duffy argues the tradition of female writing has passed down the generations because of them. By focusing on the women who have been forgotten in history, she suggests that not only men but that perhaps even they themselves would not recognise their own anonymous work.

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