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Warming Her Pearls Summary & Analysis
by Carol Ann Duffy

“Warming Her Pearls” is a free verse poem written by Scottish poet Carol Ann Duffy. It is a dramatic monologue told from the perspective of a maid who pines for the mistress she serves. The poem is set in Britain’s Victorian era, the period spanning 1837 to 1901, during which same-gender relationships were forbidden. Unable to express her desires, the poem's speaker channels her lust into the pearl necklace that her mistress directs her to wear, warming it to bring out the pearls' natural luster. Published in 1987, “Warming Her Pearls” is one of Duffy’s earliest poems about queer love, which has since become a prominent theme in her writing.

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