Form and Structure

The poem is written in sonnet form, with the poem measuring 14 lines in total. Typically, the sonnet form is used to discuss love or death, Duffy uses the imagery of death to relate to this tradition. However, Duffy changes the traditional forms as she decides not to follow the traditional rhyme scheme of the sonnet. Duffy uses elements of the traditional sonnet, however, changes many such as the placement of the Volta, as normally in a sonnet arrives on the 8th line, but Duffy changes this. Duffy changes the structure and clearly does this to continue reflecting the confusion of mental health and the broken-up structure clearly reflects her own personal low points.


The poem reflects Duffy’s own experience with depression, as Duffy is seeking comfort in a dark time of her life. Duffy creates a depiction of a woman trapped in a grave, using this as a metaphor to represent her depression. Two representations of Duffy are created, one seeking to help and the other locked away, always out of reach. The poem is a negative poem, with no positivity really shown, with there being no big progress, symbolising the reality of depression and how it’s incredibly difficult to change how you feel on a day-to-day basis.

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