➹ [Reading] ➻ The World's Wife: Poems By Carol Ann Duffy ➮ – Epubd.co

10 thoughts on “The World's Wife: Poems

  1. says:

    As a veteran attendee of poetry readings and a baby boomer male, and a cynic to boot I admit that if sat down in a coffee house, and overheard phrases like feminist dialogue radical re imagining, and mythic history, I might begin to look round apprehensively, plotting the best route for an exit In the case of Carol Ann Duffy s The World s Wife, however, the urge to flee would be premature All the above phrases could properly be used to describe this volume of verse, but so could the phrases playful, surprisingly rhymed, bawdy, clever, and funny And so could a lot of other interesting phrases, but there s enough right there to keep me seated in the coffee house Isn t that enough to keep you sitting in the coffee house too The World s Wife 2000 is a collection of dramatic monologue featuring either the wives of famous mythic and historical heroes or female versions of the heroes themselves Queen Herod, Mrs Faust, The Kray Sisters, Elvis Twin Sister, etc You get the idea And the results are often dark, hilarious, inventive, disturbing, and memorable.Here are three poems taken from the book They are not representative, and not necessarily the best Many of Duffy s monologues extend to three or four pages without being boring, I hasten to add I, however, decided to pick three of the poems that are shorter MRS SISYPHUSThat s him pushing the stone up the hill, the jerk.I call it a stone it s nearer the size of a kirk.When he first started out, it just used to irk,but now it incenses me, and him, the absolute berk.I could do something vicious to him with a dirk.Think of the perks he says.What use is a perk, I shriek.when you haven t the time to pop open a corkor go for so much as a walk in the park He s a dork.Folk flock from miles around just to gawk.They think it s a quirk,a bit of a lark.A load of bollocks nearer the markHe might as well barkat the moonthat feckin stone s no sooner upthan it s rolling back all the way down.And what does he say Musn t shirk keen as a hawklean as a sharkMusn t shirk But I lie alone in the dark,feeling like Noah s wife didwhen he hammered away at the Ark like Frau Johann Sebastian BachHer voice reduced to a squawk, my smile to a twisted smirk while, up on the deepening murk of the hillhe is giving one hundred per cent and to his work.FRAU FREUDLadies, for argument s sake, let us saythat I ve seen my fair share of ding a ling, member and jock,of todger and nudger and percy and cock, of tackle,of three for a bob, of willy and winky in fact,you could say, I m as au fait with Hunt the Salamias Ms M Lewinsky equally sick up to herewith the beef bayonet, the pork sword, the saveloy,love muscle, night crawler, dong, the dick, prick,dipstick and wick, the rammer, the slammer, the rupert,the shlong Don t get me wrong, I ve no axe to grindwith the snake in the trousers, the wife s best friend,the weapon, the python I suppose what I mean is,ladies, dear ladies, the average penis not pretty the squint of its envious solitary eye one s feeling ofpity MEDUSAA suspicion, a doubt, a jealousygrew in my mind,which turned the hairs on my head to filthy snakes,as though my thoughtshissed and spat on my scalp.My bride s breath soured, stankin the grey bags of my lungs.I m foul mouthed now, foul tongued,yellow fanged.There are bullet tears in my eyes.Are you terrified Be terrified.It s you I love,perfect man, Greek God, my own but I know you ll go, betray me, strayfrom home.So better by far for me if you were stone.I glanced at a buzzing bee,a dull grey pebble fellto the ground.I glanced at a singing bird,a handful of dusty gravelspattered down.I looked at a ginger cat,a housebrickshattered a bowl of milk.I looked at a snuffling pig,a boulder rolledin a heap of shit.I stared in the mirror.Love gone badshowed me a Gorgon.I stared at a dragon.Fire spewedfrom the mouth of a mountain.And here you comewith a shield for a heartand a sword for a tongueand your girls, your girls.Wasn t I beautiful Wasn t I fragrant and young Look at me now.

  2. says:

    This was the topic of my senior thesis specifically the poem Medusa , and also my most recent attempt at finding something revolutionary, interesting, or worthwhile in modern poetry The dadaists and beat poets were intent on wresting poetry from the jaws of tradition By popularizing poetry, they turned poetry into another pointless, populist act.By enshrining the personal experience as the sole qualifier of poetic worth, they ensured that every hack poet will feel justified in sharing their inane thoughts, and that every good poet will be lost in a sea of mediocrity Personal experiences are often banal and painfully shortsighted Making sacred something which everyone has is the same as making nothing sacred.While their egalitarianism might be audacious, this does not make it useful Remove our ability to critique poetry, and you no longer have any community of poetry The poem has finally been relegated to the most base populist urge escapism When emotional reaction is all that matters, Twilight and Miley become our high art Newsstand celeb rags become our critics.When you try to eliminate tradition, you eliminate the ability to create meaning, since meaning can only be expressed by confirming or denying the experiences and notions of tradition Keeping tradition as a basis does not mean agreeing with it Indeed, by rejecting it, the dadaists also rejected the tradition of poetry as fundamentally subversive Without a tradition, what is there to subvert I chose Duffy because I thought I saw something promising in her Instead of shock tactics and personal experiences , she seemed to create a complex and interesting view It seemed there might be something there than you might get from hearing a gas station attendant complain about their relationship woes for the duration of a cigarette break.When I finally sat down and began to follow the traces and threads of Duffy s thought, it became less promising An analysis of word use, construction, and scansion proved rather fruitless she was keeping no extra meaning there Her words are simple, straightforward, and though they point to something than their pure meaning on the page, there are no worlds inhabiting the spaces between oxymorons, as in Donne and Plath.Duffy does not take on and subvert the myths she uses, indeed she often presents the characters as divorced from their historical or mythological contexts Medusa ignores almost all of the original tale, acting less as an observation of the life of the monster than a rather simple metaphor for the belabored feminist standby of the gaze She even misapplies the mythological elements she does use, indicating that she has no interest in trying to realistically portray these unwritten women s stories There is no apparent pattern or further meaning to her misapplication, so it is not a subversion of the original tale.A comparison of this poem to previous Medusa themed feminist poems including Plath s also failed to show promise Duffy was not using tradition as a shorthand to create intertextuality The similarities were haphazard and vague.A historical view proved no profitable, since Duffy s many wives do not represent the various and changing views of the womanhood of the past She does not explore the time before there was a possibility of homosexual identity , or the understanding of the feminine in all these far flung ages.Indeed, her women are all remarkably modern, which would be forgiven under the auspices of the sacred personal experience , but it seems a crime to look at yourself, at femininity, at history, and not question whether your own assumptions are just the symptoms of your own zeitgeist.Perhaps Duffy recognizes this, for in Medusa at least, she presents a woman whose view of the world is as flawed as the metaphor would indicate It is her obsession with her own victimization that turns men to stone, not their faults or flaws Though she blames them, we see the chinks and cracks in her all encompassing victimhood.I hope that Duffy sees the cracks, as well If she does, then her poems at least represent an informed and skeptical view of the subjugated woman , recognizing how this destruction becomes internalized If she does not recognize this, then the poem is a purely personal experience, representing not only Duffy s understanding of gender, but where that understanding becomes flawed and unreliable the point when an unreliable narrator becomes an unreliable author.Without clever and biting asides to clue us in, we re left wondering whether Duffy is a self victimizer, or whether she is laughing at the notion There is a sense that she recognizes this, but it never seemed fully formed enough to break the bonds entirely Most of the poems are or less unremarkable, leaving many readers with the sense that Duffy is being candid and straight forward Her simplistic language does not invite a deeper reading, though her work profits from it.By failing to be clear, she leaves herself open to interpretation, even interpretations opposite to what she often seems to indicate Many read Medusa as a woman vindicated in her hatred, though perhaps this only comes from their own need for such vindication against the world The myth of feminism in Duffy never reaches the conscientious wit of Angela Carter, whose acumen is a rare and valuable gift to humanity By leaving her poems open to interpretation, Duffy loses much of the punch she could have had by presenting her subversion strongly Her poems are likely to amuse the cynic as well as provide emotional support to the self victimizer.Then again, it s hard to blame Duffy for this entirely, as the short sighted will always try to take away something that supports what they have already decided to be true.

  3. says:

    These myths going round, these legends, fairytales, I ll put them straight While I was clearing out my wardrobe I was attacked by a falling lever arch file and, after flicking through it, I found a copy of an A Level essay that I wrote on this collection I immediately went to my bookshelf and dug out my heavily annotated Phrases such as Satirises the traditional views of women to represent them as holders of power and Men s violence is faced and outdone somehow look intelligent when scrawled in purple, glittery gel pen, no , ink seeping through the pages, well thumbed copy and spent a good rainy afternoon reading through them all again.To me anyway, it s one of the most clever and beautifully written anthologies out there My favourites have to be Medusa, Mrs Midas, Mrs Darwin, Anne Hathaway, Frau Freud and, of course, Mrs Beast Let the less loving one be me

  4. says:

    A collection of poems written from the perspectives of the wives, sisters or girlfriends of famous men in myth and history There s a playful tone to most these poems with a bit of a cynical undercurrent or than a bit, depending on the poem Some of the highlights for me Medusa Are you terrified Be terrified It s you I love, perfect man, Greek God, my own but I know you ll go, betray me, stray from home So better by far for me if you were stone. Mrs Icarus I m not the first or the lastto stand on a hillockwatching the man she marriedprove to the world He s a total, utter, absolute, Grade A pillock.

  5. says:

    What can I say about the amazing Carol Ann Duffy at this point She is my favourite poet of all time Her way with words never fails to astound me The World s Wife for me, was thought provoking, entertaining, satirical, and incredibly witty A few of my favourite lines Some swaggering lad to break her heartsome wincing Prince to take her name awayand give a ring, a nothing, nowt in gold.and the poem entitled Mrs Darwin 7 April 1852Went to the Zoo.I said to Him Something about that Chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

  6. says:

    Author Carol Ann DuffyPublished 24 09 1999Okay so I read this book for my gcse english exam and I absolutely loved it I very rarely give a five star rating but this one definately deserves it, it is packed full of incredible poems It is a book that has become a firm favourite of mine and one that I could read a million times When I read this book and had to disect it and find out exactly what the poem was meaning, it pretty much blew my mind This book is full of the female version of myth s legends such as the Mrs Quasimodo version of events that happened, Mrs Icarus, Anna Hathaway The poems are funny and in some places quite touching especially Anna Hathaway it is possibly my favourite one in the book I dont really like poetry too much but these ones I found easy to understand, very funny and they are stories that you will remember for a long time I recommend this book to anyone who has wanted to read it, or has never even heard of it Carol Ann Duffy is an absolutely incredible poet This is also a great book if you are someone who likes books that involve mythology as some of the people featured in the novel are from Greek Mythology but are from the point of view of the partners wives sisters of the characters If you read these poems and look a little bit closer into the poems you can see exactly what the characters are saying and how Carol Ann Duffy id portraying them in such an incredible and talented way.

  7. says:

    There is only one thing I can say, a quote I m not the first or the lastTo stand on a hillock,Watching the man she marriedProve to the worldHe s a total, utter, absolute, Grade A pillock.

  8. says:

    hello new favorite poetry collection i loved this so much this is exactly what i ve been looking for from poetry i m so happy i read this, and excited to reread and dissect it in the future

  9. says:

    Brilliant collection of poems and the introduction by Jeanette Winterson was amazing Faves Queen Herod, Mrs Faust, Medusa, Mrs Icarus, Pygmalion s Bride, Frau Freud, Eurydice, Mrs Beast.

  10. says:

    These are fun, clever, sly poems, reimagining fairy tales, Bible stories one of my favorites was Queen Herod , myths, legends and even true stories, but all from a female point of view and in contemporary language Though I used the word fun, a few really aren t Some are too sad Mrs Quasimodo or too touching Anne Hathaway or too scathing Mrs Beast, the penultimate poem, states in no uncertain terms the reason for this collection to be considered mere fun And even the ones that are a lot of fun, end with a devastating line that begs for the poem to be reread, and so I would.

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