tructural is integral to the reading of ‘The Virgin’s Memo‘, with Duffy also using asyndeton to further her fictional recommendation. By structuring the poem as an asyndetic list, Duffy suggests that there are a huge number of things that Mary recommends Jesus to change. This shows how corrupt and ridiculous the ‘God Made’ world is, with Mary wishing for a huge number of changes. At the same time, this listing also furthers the idea that Jesus/God listened to none of Mary’s recommendations, even the one thing she did think was good, ‘Unicorns’, obviously didn’t make it into the final draft of the world. This listing seems to go on forever, asyndeton furthering this idea.
Another technique that Duffy uses is modality. With the word ‘maybe’, Duffy is using modal verbs (such as ‘can/could, may/might, will/would, shall/should and must’) in order to express hesitance. The female passivity is insinuated through this slightly doubting vocabulary, Mary recommending, but not demanding changes. This modality also expresses a sense of kindness, Mary not being tyrannical, but rather logical, in her desire to remove things like ‘cancer’ from the world.