Carol Ann Duffy Poems

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Not a red rose or a satin heart.
I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.

Words, Wide Night

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.


The most unusual thing I ever stole? A snowman.
Midnight. He looked magnificent; a tall, white mute
beneath the winter moon. I wanted him, a mate

The Shirt

Afterwards, I found him alone at the bar
and asked him what went wrong. It's the shirt,
he said. When I pull it on it hangs on my back


She woke up old at last, alone,
bones in a bed, not a tooth
in her head, half dead, shuffled

The Last Post

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If poetry could tell it backwards, true, begin

In Mrs Tilscher's Class

In Mrs Tilscher's class
You could travel up the Blue Nile
with your finger, tracing the route
while Mrs Tilscher chanted the scenery.
"Tana. Ethiopia. Khartoum. Aswan."
That for an hour,
then a skittle of milk
and the chalky Pyramids rubbed into dust.
A window opened with a long pole.
The laugh of a bell swung by a running child.

This was better than home. Enthralling books.
The classroom glowed like a sweetshop.
Sugar paper. Coloured shapes. Brady and Hindley
faded, like the faint, uneasy smudge of a mistake.
Mrs Tilscher loved you. Some mornings, you found
she'd left a gold star by your name.
The scent of a pencil slowly, carefully, shaved.
A xylophone's nonsense heard from another form.

Over the Easter term the inky tadpoles changed
from commas into exclamation marks. Three frogs
hopped in the playground, freed by a dunce
followed by a line of kids, jumping and croaking
away from the lunch queue. A rough boy
told you how you were born. You kicked him, but stared
at your parents, appalled, when you got back

That feverish July, the air tasted of electricity.
A tangible alarm made you always untidy, hot,
fractious under the heavy, sexy sky. You asked her
how you were born and Mrs Tilscher smiled
then turned away. Reports were handed out.
You ran through the gates, impatient to be grown
the sky split open into a thunderstorm.

Christmas Eve

Time was slow snow sieving the night,
a kind of love from the blurred moon;
your small town swooning, unabashed,
was Winter's own.

War Photographer

In his dark room he is finally alone
with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows.
The only light is red and softly glows,
as though this were a church and he
a priest preparing to intone a Mass.
Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh. All flesh is grass.

He has a job to do. Solutions slop in trays
beneath his hands, which did not tremble then
though seem to now. Rural England. Home again
to ordinary pain which simple weather can dispel,
to fields which don't explode beneath the feet
of running children in a nightmare heat.

Something is happening. A stranger's features
faintly start to twist before his eyes,
a half-formed ghost. He remembers the cries
of this man's wife, how he sought approval
without words to do what someone must
and how the blood stained into foreign dust.

A hundred agonies in black and white
from which his editor will pick out five or six
for Sunday's supplement. The reader's eyeballs prick
with tears between the bath and pre-lunch beers.
From the aeroplane he stares impassively at where
he earns his living and they do not care.

We Remember Your Childhood Well

Nobody hurt you. Nobody turned off the light and argued
with somebody else all night. The bad man on the moors
was only a movie you saw. Nobody locked the door.

Carol Ann Duffy's Poems! Who is Carol Ann Duffy?

Carol Ann Duffy is a British poet, playwright, and freelance writer. She is the first openly lesbian and first woman to be appointed as the United Kingdom's Poet Laureate, a position she held from 2009 to 2019. She is also the first openly gay person to be appointed to the position. She has published numerous collections of poetry, plays, and children's books, and has received numerous awards for her work, including the Costa Book Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize. We have compiled Carol Ann Duffy's poems for you.

Carol Ann Duffy Poems

Carol Ann Duffy has published several collections of poetry throughout her career. Here are some of Carol Ann Duffy poems which include:
"Standing Female Nude" (1985)
"Selling Manhattan" (1987)
"The Other Country" (1990)
"Mean Time" (1993)
"Rapture" (2005)
"The Bees" (2011)
Some of her most well-known poems include:
"The World's Wife" (1999)
"Rapture" (2005)
"Before You Were Mine" (1999)
"Valentine" (1999)
"Mrs. Midas" (1999)
"Anne Hathaway" (1999)
"Education for Leisure" (1985)
"Warming Her Pearls" (1985)
She also wrote the poem "Education for Leisure" which deals with the theme of loneliness and the destructive nature of unoccupied time. "Valentine" is another of her famous poem which is about love, but not the romantic love. It is about the love of an onion.
Carol Annd Duffy’s poetry is known for its themes of love, loss, and the human condition, often drawing on personal experiences and observations. She has also been praised for her ability to make the personal universal, and for her use of imagery and metaphor.

Carol Ann Duffy’s Poems About War

Carol Ann Duffy has written several poems about war and its effects on individuals and society. Some examples of Carol Ann Duffy poems include:
"War Photographer" (1991) - This poem is about a war photographer who returns home after capturing images of the violence and devastation of war. The poem explores the photographer's feelings of guilt and disconnection as he tries to process the horrors he has witnessed.
"The First Time" (1999) - This poem is about a soldier experiencing the horrors of war for the first time. The soldier reflects on the senselessness and brutality of war, as well as his own fear and vulnerability.
"The Wound in Time" (1999) - This poem is about the aftermath of war and its lasting impact on the individuals and society affected by it. The poem reflects on the ways in which war wounds individuals, both physically and emotionally, and the ways in which these wounds can shape the future.
"War-time" (1999) - This poem reflects on the experiences of women during war and the ways in which their lives are disrupted and defined by the violence and trauma of war.
"Remembrance" (1999) - The poem is about the act of remembering and honoring those who have died in war. The poem reflects on the ways in which memories of war can be both painful and necessary.
Carol Ann Duffy's poems about war often focus on the human impact of war, rather than on political or strategic aspects. They also often reflect on the emotional and psychological effects of war, such as guilt, disconnection, and trauma.

War Photographer Poem by Carol Ann Duffy

"War Photographer" is a poem by Carol Ann Duffy that was published in 1991. The poem is written in the first person point of view and is about a war photographer who has returned home after capturing images of the violence and devastation of war. The poem explores the photographer's feelings of guilt and disconnection as he tries to process the horrors he has witnessed.
The poem begins with the photographer in his darkroom, developing photographs of the war. The photographer is described as "a dozen proofs; the light etched with knives," indicating that the images he has captured are deeply disturbing. The photographer is haunted by the faces of the people he has photographed, particularly the eyes of a wounded girl that seem to be "looking up from the scan."
The photographer is also described as being "out of place" in his home, unable to connect with his loved ones and feeling guilty for being able to leave the war while others are still suffering. He is also depicted as feeling a sense of disconnection from the people he has photographed, as if he is "a spectator, an innocent."
The poem ends with the photographer continuing to develop his photographs, knowing that they will be printed in a newspaper the next day and viewed by people who will never truly understand the horrors of war. The poem suggests that the photographer's role is to bear witness to the violence and devastation of war, but that this role can also be a heavy burden that leaves him feeling disconnected and guilty.
The poem is known for its strong imagery, evocative language and the way it describes the emotional and psychological toll of being a war photographer. The poem also raises questions about the role of the media in representing war, and the power of photography to affect public opinion.

Valentine By Carol Ann Duffy

"Valentine" is a poem by Carol Ann Duffy that was published in 1999 as part of her collection "The World's Wife." The poem is written in the first person point of view and is about a love that is unconventional and different from the typical romantic love. The poem is about the love between the speaker and an onion.
The poem begins with the speaker describing the onion as "a moon wrapped in brown paper" and compares it to "a hundred firm bulbs" that she has "peeled and sliced." The speaker describes the onion as having "layers," representing the different stages of a relationship. She explains that it has "a heart that is full of tears" indicating the sorrow that comes with love.
The speaker then compares the onion to a lover, saying that "it promises light" and "like love, it's promise will be kept." The poem continues with the speaker describing the onion as "a fierce kiss" and "a secret" that she will "never tell" to anyone else.
The poem ends with the speaker saying that the onion is "a gift, a love-gift" and that she will "give it with joy" as if it was a traditional Valentine's Day gift. The poem is a metaphor for the love that is not always romantic but can be found in small things, like an onion. It also shows that love can be found in unexpected places and doesn't need to be grand or dramatic. The poem has been praised for its originality and for its ability to make the reader see something as ordinary as an onion in a different light

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