Dialogism in the Poetry fo Carol Ann Duffy
The aim of this paper is twofold first, it seeks to prove that Mikhail Bakhtin’s dialogism can apply to poetry as a literary genre different from the novel and, secondly, it aims to prove that Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry presents various elements of dialogism. The paper begins by defining Dialogism and what is meant by a dialogic utterance. Heteroglossia and Polyphony are discussed as features of a dialogic utterance. A literature review of articles discussing dialogism in poetry is given, highlighting the different aspects of dialogism in poetry, the dialogic nature of poetry, addressivity in dialogism, and finally, types of dialogism.
The paper focuses on Duffy’s dialogic poetry and her use of dramatic monologue to foster a sense of division and dialogism and to point out the plight of the disadvantaged Other. Through her dialogues, male subjectivity as perceived by a created speaking subject is presented, the polyphonic and interpersonal Self is revealed, the psychology of the divided Self is exposed via internal dialogue, and the refusal of the Other to acknowledge the Self is highlighted. Other themes such as the difficulty of seeing the Self through otherness and defying the poet’s presence by hybrid construction are explored. The paper also shows how Duffy has employed intertextuality and heteroglossia to legitimise the speech of the underclasses and to dramatise the complexities and power relations of human interactions. She has also adopted the hidden dialogic, double-voiced multivocal lyrics and narrative to give the silenced marginalised an opportunity to speak for themselves.