Friday, 1 May 2009

Poet Laureate

I was thrilled when I heard that Carol Ann Duffy had been named the Poet Laureate as she is one of my favourite poets. It's about time that this almost anachronistic role has for the first time been given to a woman. And one that is openly gay too. I wonder what Queen Victoria and her laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson would have made of that!

She has said that she has accepted it on behalf of so many of the brilliant woman poets of these times and in recognition of them also. Even though she has been critical of the role in the past where one is required to write poems on state occasions, today she said that poetry and royalty share the same midas touch 'the power to transform daily life into something more magical'

Of course gender should really be a secondary thought as what is vital is the quality of her poems.And her writing is witty,passionate and powerful.
One of her most evocative poems is Rapture taken from a recent collection of the same name. A series of poems that reads like a story marking the start of a relationship till it's end.

It would be such a beautiful poem to read at a wedding and was certainly on our short list(which in itself was very long!) I adore the imagery of 'love coming like a sudden flight of birds'. In my fantasy, as the line was read at our garden ceremony, this would have happened far away, a huge rush of birds would have crossed the wide open sky.


Thought of by you all day,I think of you.
The birds sing in the shelter of a tree.
Above the prayer of rain,unacred blue,
not paradise,goes nowhere endlessly.
How does that happen that our lives can drift
far from ourselves,while we stay trapped in time,
queuing for death? It seems nothing will shift
the pattern of our days,alter the rhyme
we make with loss to assonance with bliss.
Then love comes,like a sudden flight of birds
from earth to heaven after rain. Your kiss,
recalled,unstrings,like pearls,this chain of words.
Huge skies connect us,joining here to there.
Desire and passion on the thinking air.

pictures from here and here


10.15, saturday night said...

oh, definitely!

i remember studying her poems in gcse english and just loving them. such a shame that 'education for leisure' got taken out of the anthology books, so un-neccessary too!


agirl said...

I love her work. That particular poem took my breath away when I first read it.

Flora said...

Hi 10.15!
Lovely to hear from you! How lucky you were to study her poetry.. Before my time tho- we only had Seamus Heamey.
And I didn't know about the controversy about the 'education for leisure' poem. I've just googled it and feel so cross now. What short-sighted ignorance on behalf of the exam board.Unbelievable.

Quite, M, me too!!

Meg said...

I am a huge Duffy fan - about time she was made Laureate!

I have only recently discovered your blog but already love it and am sure it will become a firm favourite so I am giving you the Lemonade Award :) See my blog for details.

Flora said...

Wow, thanks Meg! I love lemonade!!
Cheers to you.