Friday, May 1, 2009

Words, Wide Night, a poem by Carol Ann Duffy.

Poet, playwright and freelance writer Carol Ann Duffy was born in December 1955 in Glasgow and studied philosophy at Liverpool University. Today, she was named Britain's poet laureate - the first woman to hold a post that has been filled by William Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Ted Hughes, among others. A witty and popular writer whose work is widely taught in British schools, Duffy is also the first openly gay laureate. She said she'd thought "long and hard" before accepting the job, which now has a 10-year term. She said she'd given the final decision to her 13-year-old daughter who said, "Yes mummy, there's never been a woman."

Britain's first official poet laureate was John Dryden, appointed in 1668, although the tradition is centuries older than that. Until 1999, laureates were appointed for life. The laureate traditionally receives a "butt of sack" - about 600 bottles of sherry, donated by the Sherry Institute of Spain.

Duffy has received an Eric Gregory Award in 1984 and a Cholmondeley Award in 1992 from the Society of Authors, the Dylan Thomas Award from the Poetry Society in 1989 and a Lannan Literary Award from the Lannan Foundation (USA) in 1995. She was awarded an OBE in 1995, a CBE in 2001 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. She currently lives in Manchester.

Words, Wide Night by Carol Ann Duffy

Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.
The room is turning slowly away from the moon.

This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say
it is sad? In one of the tenses I'm singing
an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.

La lala la. See? I close my eyes and imagine the dark hills I would have to cross to reach you. For I am in love with you

and this is what it is like or what it is like in words.


Unknown said...

That's very heartfelt!

john cotter said...

I love Duffy's love poems.....