The Dolphins’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a dramatic monologue written from the perspective of dolphins. It tries to enumerate the emotions of a dolphin which was once free, swimming around at its own will, but is now confined to an aquarium or a water-park — a place where it does what its owner or trainer tells it to do. Its master uses it to perform tricks to amuse people in the circus.
The poem shows how dolphins and other animals are suffering in the hands of men. It urges us to look at the world from their perspective. It conveys the poet’s massage against human cruelty towards animals. On a metaphoric level, the poetess may also want to indicate the troubles of humans who think they are caught in the confines of this world.