How does Duffy memorably convey to you the pains and pleasures of being in love?

Have you ever been in love?
Have you ever been happy or hurt?
I know someone who certainly has.

In the poems ‘Mean Time’ and ‘Havisham’, Carol Anne Duffy explores the binary nature of being in love, through her treatment of the themes of pain and pleasure. It is important to mention that neither poems deals fully with pleasure being in love: it is intensity of the pain that implies from which we can infer the pleasure. Both these poems share similarities of emotions such as the agony of losing a beloved and the pleasures of being in love. The transitory nature of pain and pleasure is explored in “Mean time” as Duffy reveals the mourning of her lost beloved and the different ways in which regret can steal your life in the passage of time. Whilst this poem is subject to the themes of regretting past love, sadness, darkness and loss of hope, ‘Havisham’ is a disturbing, macabre poem that explores the psychological torment of lost love, based on the character from Dicken’s ‘Great Expectations’, again revealing the pleasures and pains associated with love. To highlight these deep emotions in ‘Mean Time’ and ‘Havisham’, Duffy uses a plethora of literary devices to underline the persona’s world and the pains and pleasures of being in love.  

Duffy chooses to give a voice to women who have lost their cherished love. The persona in ‘Mean Time’ realizes with great regret and sadness that she can never regain the time she has lost in this broken relationship. The use of double entendre in the title   ‘Mean’ personifies the cruelty of time. Her emotive word choice is effective as it reveals the extent of her loss. The persona personifies the clocks by stating, “the clocks slid back an hour”, highlighting that persona was taken reeling back into the past, to a time when she suffered a most traumatic incident which “stole light from my life.” Duffy uses this hyperbole...