‘Hour’ by Carol Ann Duffy is about the rush of
feelings one gets when they spend time with the one they love. The poem therefore elucidates the impression
that being with your love done, even if it is only for a little while, is to be
cherished and valued. It also brings out the idea that time is not only
precious in a relationship, but also a hurdle to the two lovers.
Hour is written in the form of a Shakespearian sonnet, therefore only has one
stanza. Sonnets are usually about love and this poem is no different, as it
tells of love and how much it depends on time. Time being portrayed as love’s
enemy is not an unusual theme, when it comes to poetry, which might be the
reason Duffy chose it in this poem. Time is also the poem’s key factor, which
is not so suprising, given the fact that the title is Hour.Duffy also never mentions or does not give any hints as to
what the gender of the narrator of the poem, neither their loved one. She could
have done that due to her being a lesbian, or so that people can relate to it
more, no matter their sexual orientaton.
Throughout the poem she
compares how different emotional and physical wealth are. For me, the poem was
about showing people that spending time with the one you love can make you
richer than anything physically valuable ever could, because nothing else in
the world can give you the feeling of having everything just like love does.
We can clearly see from
the first line that Duffy does not hold back and says that time is love’s enemy
right at the beginning. The poem then continues with an enjambment, which Duffy
uses a number of times throughout the poem, using to allow her ideas to go on
without being limited by lines. It emphasizes the importance of the point she makes,
every time she uses it.
“Time slows, for here we
are millionaires, backanding the night”, this suggests that the time that we
spend with our love done is not for nothing. Spending time with the one we love
matters and makes us rich. Duffy circumambulates around the whole idea of
wealth and being wealthy because of love many times and uses the wording and
the structure of the poem to emphasize how valuable love is.
“So nothing dark will end
our shining hour” – the narrator clearly is not interested in anything
interfiering with her/him and his/her partner’s relationship.
The tenth line had me
confused for a bit, since cuckoo spit is not exactly something we praise as a
symbol of love, but that was only until I read the following line, which
explains the use of cuckoo spit being thought of so highly only because it is
close to the person the narrator is in love with.
Using the phrase “no
chandelier or spotlight see you better lit” suggests that whatever expensive,
spoiled, unnatural thing could never compare to the partner, only here, light
is used to prove the narrator’s feelings.