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Havisham

Havisham

by Carol Ann Duffy

Love Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Beloved sweetheart bastard. (1)

Miss Havisham begins her monologue with an oxymoron – a set of contradictory terms. Her ex-fiancé is both a beloved sweetheart and a bastard. Right from the beginning, then, we see that love and hate are closely intertwined in this poem.

Quote #2

Some nights better, the lost body over me,
my fluent tongue in its mouth in its ear
then down till I suddenly bite awake. […] (10-12)

For a moment, it seems that love isn't all bad. Miss Havisham has some erotic fantasies about her ex – until she's awoken with a violent start. So much for the beauty and pleasures of love. Oh, and why do you think she refers to her fiancé as an "it" here? That's a little strange, right?

Quote #3

[…] Love's
hate behind a white veil; a red balloon bursting
in my face. Bang. I stabbed at a wedding-cake. (12-14)

Here Miss Havisham once again ties love to hate. Behind all love is hate, she says. She imagines a red (a color we associate with love, lust, blood) balloon bursting, She stabs at a wedding cake. The source of all this hate and violence comes from love, which seems pretty twisted if we may say so.

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