In the poem Anne Hathaway, as an audience we get the impression that the relationship between Anne Hathaway and her lover Shakespeare is strong. A quote that supports this idea is, “The bed we loved was a spinning world”. Duffy has suggested the image of the spinning world and this could be interpreted in different ways. One way is the word “world”, this represents becoming one and bonding with her lover, this emphasises the pair having a strong relationship.
My own interpretation of “The bed we loved was a spinning world” is that it could mean the thing that went on in there were countless and that they have had lots of fun in there, I think when both were in the bed they had lots of energy and life in themselves and this could be mainly of each others presence, and that’s why it may seem spinning. Something that could be highly contrasted with this is the snowman in Stealing. In the early stages of Stealing, the thief admired the snowman and wanted it. He looked magnificent/I wanted him, a mate”.
He immediately calls the snowman a “mate” by using personification, the word “mate” suggests he was taking to the snowman as if it were a real person at this point we do sympathise with the thief as we might understand why he is stealing it (lonely). I think because he’s talking to a snowman and not a human, this would strongly suggest he is lonely. As well as this, we also get a stronger sense of the relationship between the thief and the snowman by the word mate.
From that point on when he stole it, I feel that the thief’s relationship is stronger because, he feels he’s not alone now and this is contrasted with the strong relationship of Anne Hathaway and how she feels when her love is present. “My lover’s words were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses on theses lips”. This is a very strong comment because she describes to something rare to be seen (“shooting stars”), or another interpretation is that her love Shakespeare is very rare.
The quote, “My lover’s words were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses on theses lips” is another strong and imaginative metaphor and I assume this by the words “shooting stars”. I think it suggests Anne Hathaway feelings for her lover are strong and this is mainly done by his skills as a lover. In contrast to this, when the thief in Stealing describes the snowman, the tone is much more intimate and shape. This is supported by the quote, “He looked magnificent: a tall, white mute beneath the winter moon”. This quote represents coldness, frost and iciness which is seemed shape and bitter words.
This effect is created by the use of descriptive language with hard sounds in them. As the poem Anne Hathaway describes her love in a very imaginative way, in Stealing the language used to describe the snowman suggests coldness and sharpness. Anne Hathaway’s love making with Shakespeare and the destruction of the snowman in Stealing are very much the opposite. In the poem Anne Hathaway there are a number of occasions where imaginative poetry is used to show their love making, for example, “forests, castles, torchlight”, “cliff tops” and “seas where he would dive for pearls”.
These images would be very personal to other people, but this couple interpret it in different ways, which show that there not shy of the idea. Also, considering the time it was written in, it might have not been as private or as personal to some people as it is today. On the other hand, the destruction of the snowman, who he at one point, loved to have and admired it, is very much the opposite of the love making in Anne Hathaway. The reasons for the destruction of the snowman are not clear, although there is evidence.
The evidence suggested is that “he didn’t look the same” after reassembling it in the yard. One perspective of this is that, at first the snow was made by children and having stolen it and reassembled it, he couldn’t make look the same. He also said, “sick of the world”, the reasons to this could be, when the snowman was first made it was made with joy of children and because he is alienated and marginalized from the world he don’t have chance to do this. I feel he want to be let free and have a place to fit into the world but he hasn’t courage to do it.
This idea is the same for the objects he steals, like the guitar, he stole but don’t know how to play it and this ides is further reinforced the quote, “Sometimes I steal things I don’t need”. I think in Stealing the thief wants to be recognized and known and this is why in the beginning the tone is very confessional as if he is confessing something. He thinks the best way to be known and accepted is to steal something in order to get someone attention or hurt them.
The best example of this is the snowman, he blatantly said, “Part of the thrill was knowing children would cry in the morning”. It is because he is not recognized and known like other people, he steals. The short sentence that follows this quote, really shows the pain and frustration he going through not being recognized, “Life’s tough”. This also suggests that he not been recognized for a long time and it is because of this he may sometimes steal for the fun of it.
Where as in Anne Hathaway it is very much the opposite, although they are recognized, they don’t really care if their not, “spinning world” helps to support this it represents becoming one and bonding with her lover, this emphasises the pair having a strong relationship. I think the idea in Anne Hathaway, the couple are in their own world and don’t really pay attention to the lives of others. We get this impression because most of the time, one of them talks a lot about how love is expressed through beauty and the skills of each other.