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Meeting Midnight Paperback – 4 Oct 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (4 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571201202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571201204
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.6 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 666,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The first collection of poetry for young readers by the unmatchable Carol Ann Duffy is triumphantly uncondescending and unpatronising. While there are moments of exquisite light verse silliness--like the sadly-overtaken-by-TV-scheduling-changes "Ben" (no. 5 in the short sequence, "Boys"):

I'm big
bigger than fifty men.
I go Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!
Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!
on News at Ten.
These are real poems, alive with spot-on, sophisticated imagery. As in the first stanza of "Little Ghost":
Think of me as a child
Who has swallowed herself whole-
gulp, gone--
leaving only
the colour of goat's cheese,
the hue of a buried bone,
the tint of the last dab of vanilla ice-cream
in a cone.
Here, Duffy haunts us with non-colours, tastes, smells and memories: the weight of a small absence. In the following stanza, the (bored) ghost does all the usual poltergeisty things: "I make a portrait fall"; "I pipe my thin spirit noise/on the limy-lemony air./Ooooooooo. Creepy." But when it tries to read, its "smoky fingers can't turn the pages." So not only do we get your standard funny-scary stuff, rendered utterly tangible, but Duffy also weaves a deep and necessary sadness into this tale. After all, a little ghost equals a dead child.

Elswhere in this collection we're introduced to the self-confessed liar; the boy who's in terrible trouble for making a snowball so big his mum thinks there's been an eclipse; a pair of incompatible queens; some particularly unpleasant childminders and a toy dog with a future. And Eileen Cooper's illustrations are fab. Just one word of warning. Watch out for the quicksand. Aaaarrrggghh. --Lisa Gee

About the Author

Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow and grew up in Stafford. She won the 1993 Whitbread Award for Poetry and the Forward Prize for Best Collection for Mean Time. The World's Wife received the E. M. Forster Award in America, while Rapture won the T. S. Eliot Prize 2005. She is currently Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her most recent volumes are New and Collected Poems for Children (2009) and The Bees (2011), which won the Costa Poetry Award. She is Poet Laureate.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Meeting Midnight is such an exhilarating read. Some of the poems are scary, some tender, all are written in fresh, original language. I especially liked the strange Queens and the girl who falls in love with a tree. I found the child who falls into an open grave poem, Late, very disturbing. This is a great read as good for adults as children. I wholeheartedly recommend it. You will not be disappointed.
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