Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

Customer Review

on July 7, 2014
Carol Ann Duffy is the Poet Laureate – a first for any female poet. She is a true original, then, regardless of the huge list of male poets who have come before her. Her work is like her, truly original. It is grounded, sound in every sense, while also being sinewy, unexpected, and often tenderly beautiful.

“ Poetry, above all,” says Duffy, “Is a series of intense moments - its power is not in narrative. I'm not dealing with facts, I'm dealing with emotion.” Nevertheless, she does use narrative, in, for instance her controversial series of feminist poems about the wives of various famous men. Some men who can’t see the joke still reserve a right to be dismissive. Poor things. One of the poems in this collection particularly struck me as indicative of the range and reach of Duffy’s talents and skill. Originally is a poem of universal narrative, proving that poetry can sometimes reach much further than merely aesthetics.

Originally

We came from our own country in a red room
which fell through the fields, our mother singing
our father’s name to the turn of the wheels.
My brothers cried, one of them bawling Home,
Home, as the miles rushed back to the city,
the street, the house, the vacant rooms
where we didn’t live any more. I stared
at the eyes of a blind toy, holding its paw.

All childhood is an emigration. Some are slow,
leaving you standing, resigned, up an avenue
where no one you know stays. Others are sudden.
Your accent wrong. Corners which seem familiar
leading to unimagined pebble-dashed estates, big boys
eating worms and shouting words you don’t understand.
My parents’ anxiety stirred like a loose tooth
in my head. I want our own country, I said.

But then you forget, or don’t recall, or change,
and, seeing your brother swallow a slug, feel only
a skelf of shame. I remember my tongue
shedding its skin like a snake, my voice
in the classroom sounding just like the rest. Do I only think
I lost a river, culture, speech, sense of the first space
and the right place? Now, Where do you come from?
strangers ask. Originally? And I hesitate.

This poem demonstrates both the universality of childhood experiences and the skill that Duffy has in recognising that its not just immigrants who feel like aliens – and then take on what the world demands.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like so:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.


Product Details

4.1 out of 5 stars
24