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MILLY: Yeah, so obviously you’ve just finished your tenure as the Poet Laureate, um, and alongside being the first female Poet Laureate, you’re also the first openly gay Poet Laureate for Britain. With this, did you find it was hard to balance the idea of being vocal about women’s rights and gay rights and being, like, an activist or would you say that some of your poetry is an act of activism, perhaps? CAROL: Yes, I think it’s very important to support young writers in a variety of different ways, either with workshops or teaching or poetry readings, um, festivals, competitions; so I’ve been involved in all of that because I think it’s, um, hugely enriching to pledge the arts: literature, music, theatre, visual arts—all of them in the centre of young people's lives. Warming Her Pearls’. One of Carol Ann Duffy’s most frequently anthologised poems, ‘Warming Her Pearls’ is told from the perspective of a maid whose job is to look after her mistress, a wealthy lady. One of her duties is to warm her employer’s pearls before the lady of the house wears them, but the poem also touches upon forbidden love, the desire the maid feels for her mistress.

Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy | Waterstones

She says the earlier poems were composed by heart and known by feelings. But one’s desire to touch the star-like moth is futile because the modern poems neither have feelings, nor the ardent desire that the lovers have nor had in the past. So, unless a person creates love in his mind, in his heart, he may not write what previous poets like Shakespeare, Sidney, Donne, Shelley, E.B. Browning had done. Text’. The title gives a clue as to the subject of this poem: it’s about text-messaging; aptly, it’s short and telegrammatic, like a text message (with even the shape of the poem suggesting the format of a text message on a mobile phone). It’s also a touching poem, marked by that quiet desperation of something lost or unattainable, a quality which characterises much of Duffy’s greatest work.In the fourth line, Duffy expands on her description so it isn’t just visual but draws on the sense of smell as well. This gives the emotions of the narrator a very visceral feel. She takes something that you would expect to smell sweet and ascribes it a negative scent which says a lot about the mindset of the narrator. The final line is enjambment. This is uncommon at the end of a stanza and creates a sense of awkwardness.

Rapture (poetry collection) - Wikipedia

MILLY: I was here when you last came to the University and did your talk in the Issac Newton Building, and when you last came you spoke a little bit about subversion and finding something in something that’s already been written. Is that something that you practice a lot in your writing, like looking at other poet’s work or just like found items, do you kind of try and find— there is a garden in her face” has been taken from ‘There Is A Garden In Her Face’ by Thomas Campion, Mrs Midas’. Another poem from The World’s Wife , ‘Mrs Midas’ takes its cue from the myth of King Midas, he of the ‘golden touch’. But what would Midas’ wife have made of her husband’s greed for gold? Duffy imagines into being the long-suffering wife whose life is marred by the selfishness of her avaricious spouse.In the first line of this stanza, once again, the narrator makes reference to an hour. Again it isn’t clear if this is an actual hour or is just meant to represent a small amount of time. I think in the first two lines of this stanza that the suggestion is that the dark feelings the narrator had been having were a result of waiting for their wedding. The image of making a ring from grass is quite nice as it invokes nature, as we have seen a few times in this poem. But on this occasion, it is done in a less trite way. Perhaps this is to emphasize the fact that sometimes love isn’t about passion and drama, sometimes it’s about nuanced gestures and subtle sweetness. RORY: Well you, y’know, your poetry and your former status as a Poet Laureate would’ve, kind of . . . You would’ve thought that it would’ve inspired more people, especially more women to get into poetry. Would you say that you’ve left, like, a legacy there then, for future female poets to follow their dreams? CAROL: I’m very fond of something Picasso said . . . in his case painting, but I’ve taken it on board as a writer which is “Inspiration will come, but it must find you working.” And I find that really really useful.

Rapture - Carol Ann Duffy - Google Books

The author of this article, Dr Oliver Tearle, is a literary critic and lecturer in English at Loughborough University. He is the author of, among others, The Secret Library: A Book-Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History and The Great War, The Waste Land and the Modernist Long Poem.Before we proceed any further with an analysis of ‘The Love Poem’, here are the sources for the poems which Duffy quotes from. The first quotation, ‘my mistress’ eyes’, is from William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, which begins ‘My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun’; ‘let me count the ways’ is from another love poem, Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (‘ How do I love thee? Let me count the ways’); ‘come live with me’ appears in a number of Renaissance love poems, including Christopher Marlowe’s ‘The Passionate Shepherd to His Love’ and ‘The Bait’ by John Donne. Valentine’. An onion? This poem, also from Mean Time , centres on the speaker’s gift to her Valentine, not of a red rose or a cute card but an onion, of all things – because it cuts through the clichéd conventions of Valentine’s Day and, oddly, captures what true love is far more accurately, because it will induce tears but its memory will also linger long on your lips. The narrator is clearly feeling at a loss as to what to do to better their situation. Although that situation has yet to be revealed. Once again just a classic example of how Duffy manages to get her readers to invest in her poems. The second line sees the narrator implore the subject of the poem. They call for them to “endure this hour” is the suggestion here that what they are going through is temporary. I don’t think they are talking literally about an hour but rather a difficult time period that this hour of darkness represents.

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