May 1, 2009

Duffy Is First Woman Appointed Poet Laureate of Britain

Carol Ann Duffy was named this week as poet laureate of Britain. This is the first time in the 341-year history of the post that a woman will hold the post. She is also the first Scot and the first openly gay woman to be poet laureate.

Duffy, 53, is known for writing accessible, often witty poems on a wide range of topics, many of them to do with the minutiae of everyday life.

She succeeds Andrew Motion who held the post for ten years. Duffy was considered a favorite for the post before Motion was named in 1999, but it is thought that then prime minister Tony Blair felt her sexuality made her too controversial for the royal appointment.

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.

More about Carol Ann Duffy

5/1/09 Four of Duffy's books are on the Amazon Poetry Bestsellers list today.

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