Carol Ann Duffy
We were at York University last night to see and hear a reading by Carol Ann Duffy. The hall was, gratifyingly, packed beyond capacity, with many people unable to find a seat and standing at the back.
She read several love poems from Rapture, and others from The World’s Wife. These she wrapped in fragments from The Laughter of Stafford Girl’s High a long narrative which details the subversive effects of an outbreak of laughter at a girl’s school.
Her fictional Anne Hathaway describes Shakespeare’s touch as,
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun
while Mrs Tiresias, whose husband was turned into a woman as punishment, scoffs about his first period,
One week in bed.
Two doctors in.
Three painkillers four times a day.
to the powers that be
demanding full-paid menstrual leave twelve weeks per year.