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Reflections of a working writer and reader



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.

And later
a letter
to the powers that be
demanding full-paid menstrual leave twelve weeks per year.

4 Responses to “Carol Ann Duffy”

  1. Dick says:

    How well did she read? I heard her a few years ago and she did her verse no favours at all.

    jb says: Well, she wasn’t bad at all, Dick. Perhaps the sympathetic crowd worked some magic?

  2. deborah says:

    I heard her read at a GCSE poetry live event. To me she is inspirational because she writes as she sees and feels. I can only write when i truly feel something, to an extreme, sad, happy, angry. She can take a character and develop it even further,

  3. Menstruation says:

    Carol just has a wonderful pallet of words to describe the mood and emotions.

    jb says: She also thinks, which is a beautiful rarity in our world.

  4. A. Waddell says:

    I have not yet had the chance to hear our Laureate yet, only Liz Lochead, the Scottish Makar. Both great poets, masters of many forms. It sounded like a great night, ‘Anne Hathaway’ is beautiful sonnet, it would have been great to hear it as it should sound.