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Originally Summary & Analysis
by Carol Ann Duffy

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Carol Ann Duffy's "Originally" reflects on both the specific sadness of emigration and the universal sadness of growing up. In this poem, a small Scottish child, confused and frightened by her family's move to England, slowly loses her sense of cultural identity. Her journey from Scottishness to an undefined Britishness mirrors the broader human journey from the security of childhood to the self-conscious alienation of adulthood. Every adult, the poem suggests, is an exile from the "first space / and the right place" of their childhood self. "Originally" was first published in 1990 in Duffy's collection The Other Country.

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