by Carol Ann Duffy
Havisham Love Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
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.
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?
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.