Delighted by Duffy


I cannot exactly remember when I was first introduced to Ms Duffy and her poetry.  It would have been prior to 2009 because I recall being delighted to hear she had been made poet laureate in that year.

I cannot say that I relate to  all of her poetry, but I admire her honesty as a poet.  Straight forward language written in a complex structure produces a depth of writing; powerful and memorable.

During my time in education I was pleasantly surprised at how well received her poetry was by an enforced audience studying English Literature to a culture starved audience desperately trying to capture words and language to write their thoughts to loved ones far away.

here are two of my favourites:

Valentine – Poem by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

Prayer – Poem by Carol Ann Duffy

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child’s name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio’s prayer –
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.


The ‘benediction’ for this post has to be this: Ms Duffy herself, reading Mrs Midas.








  2 comments for “Delighted by Duffy

  1. September 2, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    I love her poems. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Sue
    September 2, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I am glad you enjoyed this.

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