I couldn’t see Guinness
and not envisage a nun;
a gun, a finger and thumb;
midges, blether, scribble, scrum.
A crescent moon, boomerang, smirk,
bone; or full, a shield, a stalker,
a stone. I couldn’t see woods
for the names of trees- sycamore,
yew, birch, beech
without imagining music scored
on the air- nor pass a nun
without calling to mind a pint of one,
stout, untouched, on a bar at the Angelus.
Duffy neatly captures the process of association here. She allows enough apparent whimsy or looseness to suggest the natural idiosyncracy of ‘free association’. And just as our association goes one way so the next moment it may go another; in reverse! The poem also ‘proves’ the power of anchoring and the ways we may intervene and redirect our association. Richard Bandler is a fan of ‘spiralling’ where the feelings can be sent spiralling elsewhere, away from an individual so that the emotional effects are diluted or rendered comic. Oddly enough and yet not so oddly as Art illustrates so many NLP theories( as it should) this poem seems to spiral away and then back again for me.
How to write a good essay!
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