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.
- This is a reference to Duffy visioning how a resurrection will undo all the suffering concomitant with death: ‘But what if, in the clammy soil, her limbs grew warmer, shifted, stirred, kicked off the covering of earth, the drowsing corms’
- A reference to her late mother, also representing the idea of loss: ‘her shroud like washing blown onto the grass, the petals of her wreath kissed for a bride’
- A reference to a world where there is no suffering for women: ‘Nobody died. Nobody wept. Nobody slept who couldn’t be woken by the light’
- This could be a reference to Duffy attempting to rescue someone or open the coffin to reach her mother. May suggest that she had a rocky relationship with her mother or has regrets: ‘If I can only push open this heavy door’
- This is a reference for all women who have been mistreated: ‘she’ll be standing there in the sun’
- This reference could be relating to many things, it could be a plea from Duffy and a reflection of her mental health struggles, as her mental health struggles made her want to give up: ‘wondering why do I shout, why do I run’
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.