Poems of famous men and the women who married them by the Poet Laureate.
Humour is the abundant keynote of this accessible collection. Mrs Rip Van Winkle enjoys the freedom to travel and paint allowed by her husband's permanent slumbers, "Until the day / I came home with pastel of Niagara / and he was sitting up in bed rattling Viagra." Frau Freud analyses her over-exposure to "ding-a-ling, member and jock, / of todger and nudger and percy and cock," and confesses with irony to being, "as au fait with Hunt-the Salami / as Ms M. Lewinsky." Mrs Aesop groans about her husbands unstoppable garrulousness: "By Christ, he could bore for Purgatory," and Mrs Darwin evolves the following summary her husband's research:
"7 April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him--
Something about that Chimpanzee over there
reminds me of you."
The World's Wife throws open the windows on the stuffy annals of historical myth and breezes through some of its highlights with a sense of revelry and laugh-out-loud observation. In this wry take on the historical ubiquity of heterosexual coupledom that permeates so many cultural myths, Duffy has separated vibrant women from the shadows of their more famous husbands and brothers, and divorced them from the distortions of historical silence. --Rachel Holmes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The World's Wife is her most accessible collection to date - a collection of delightful parody tales from the world's most important (and least recognised) women. Before you get too enthralled by the humour, take a look at her style - she's precise, accurate and at times, stunning. If this floats your boat, try the Selected Works for a more rounded view of her poetry (much of which is less light hearted and lyrical than this offering).