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Feminine Gospels Hardcover – 6 Sep 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Main Market Ed. edition (6 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330486438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330486439
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'In the world of British poetry, Carol Ann Duffy is a superstar' Guardian; 'Duffy's poems are at once accessible and brilliantly idiosyncratic and subtle' Observer

Book Description

A luminous collection from one of contemporary poetry's brightest stars.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read anything I can get my hands on since I was a small child, but have never really been able to get into poetry. Apart from the little amount I did at school with my only remembered poem,"I wandered lonely as a cloud" by Wordsworth, I only recently decided to try poetry, hence Carol Ann Duffy as one bit of blurb I read, said "non-poetry readers should read her". I started with Feminine Gospels and found it very accessible.
It's an easy to read style despite the fact that I still expect poetry to rhyme! Her subjects encompass all female trials, tribulations and sufferings and indeed the human condition. I especially loved "The Diet" and "The Woman who shopped", which was so true to life and so close to home that I cringed at the words!
She really is a storyteller/chronicler of women of today and I can't believe I haven't discovered her before. I will now aim to read her other work while trying to not follow "the woman who shopped"!
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Format: Paperback
After reading the ecstatic newspaper reviews, I opened Feminine Gospels expecting not so much a volume of poetry as a quasi-religious experience; I didn’t quite receive one, but the collection is nevertheless very strong – if not quite up to the standard of her previous book, The World’s Wife.
As always, Carol Ann Duffy’s language is brilliantly structured, with rhymes cropping up unexpectedly and imagery that is both fresh and well chosen; this sets her work apart from much modern poetry, where the metaphors and similes are often original but try too hard to be smart, with the result that they are inapposite, conjuring up nothing other than confusion for the reader. In ‘A Dreaming Week’ the poem’s narrator is ‘dreaming/on the monocle of the moon/a sleeping S on the page of a bed/in the tome of a dim room.’ That scholastic imagery is palpably sharp, and the fact that the poet has achieved the lines’ musicality without making them seem either trite or dated bears testament to her skills.
The collection, focused (as the title suggests) on women, contains mostly very good poems, with a few great ones. ‘Beautiful’ is a moving history of strong women suffering in a male world, in which the leading character changes from Helen of Troy to Cleopatra, then to Marilyn Monroe, and finally to the less mourned-over Princess Diana, who ends the poem with ‘History’s stinking breath in her face.’ ‘The Diet’, about a woman who starves herself until she is size of an atom, ends with a marvellously literal take on the idea that inside every fat woman there’s a thin one trying to get out.
There are some weaker moments.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
As a fan of 'The World's Wife', I didn't think it could get much better. Here, however, is proof both of my lack of faith and of Duffy's genius.
The clue to what one may find in 'Feminine Gospels' is contained in the title - a collection of poems at once elegaic, profound, often funny, and always, ALWAYS touching. Here, fantasy blurs with harsh reality, humour with tragedy. Every aspect of every female condition is contained in this slim volume - from love to eating disorders, from shopping to contagious girlish giggling. Her shortest poems are little gems, her longest the most startling treasure trove. Whole lives are condensed into sentences.
Never laboured, always breathtaking, Duffy's multi-layered poetry excites the reader so much that one is compelled to re-read it again and again.
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Format: Paperback
If you buy this looking for a lightweight view of the feminine in our world, you will be disappointed. I loved it, but there is little sign here of the poet who wrote some of the things that have delighted her readers and made us laugh. (Eurydice?) In this work she sets out her table very clearly as to what she does feel about feminism in our present world - read it, it is great.
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Format: Paperback
I am an A Level English student and study Carol Ann Duffy to anyone as she is nothing short of brilliant. I would reccomend any of her collections especially selected poems or the world's wife, which is similar to this as it tackles feminine ideas. Duffy really understands words which is what makes her such a great poet, she knows how to connect to the reader and her poems have so much depth to them that it actually takes some thinking about. Ignore the reviews here that slag Duffy off as these people could never write poetry like Duffy and it is only ignorance that fails to see Duffy's brilliance as a writer. I gained much from studying her as it reminded me that poems such as these should not be taken at face value and I would reccomend her to anyone simply for the themes she uses and portrays and for the way she makes the reader re think their preconceived conceptions of the world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Poet Laureate always has something interesting to say. I would love to be able to write a review to do it justice. Poetry lovers everywhere will adore this collection.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this book up on a whim at the weekend, and I absolutely love it!

I haven't read poetry since school, but these are full of beautiful imagery, engaging characters and clever observations. I find myself feeling shocked and delighted as I read these, this confirmation that I am not alone in my discomfort with certain aspects of society.

My boyfriend, who often struggles to relate to the false portrayal of women in modern culture, also loves these, so it's not just for the vaginally-endowed among us!
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