CREATIVE EXPLORATIONS. MUSINGS. IDEAS. QUESTIONS.SNAPSHOTS.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Carol Ann Duffy

I discovered Carol Ann duffy in literature class today. Now I'm here finding as moch more from her as i can.

First, the poem I read first. We analysed it in class. and i can still remember lines and sounds off it.

Carol Ann Duffy

PRAYER

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer

utters itself. So a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre

11 comments:

susan said...

I love Duffy too. Here is a poem from her new collection of poems, RAPTURE.

YOU

Uninvited, the thought of you stayed too late in my head.
so I went to bed, dreaming you hard, hard, woke with your name,
like tears, soft, salt, on my lips, the sound of its bright syllables
like a charm, like a spell.

Falling in love
is glamorous hell: the crouched, parched heart
like a tiger, ready to kill; a flame’s fierce licks under the skin.
into my life, larger than life, you strolled in.

I hid in my ordinary days, in the long grass of routine,
in my camouflage rooms. You sprawled in my gaze,
staring back from anyone’s face, from the shape of a cloud,
from the pining, earth-struck moon which gapes at me

as I open the bedroom door. The curtains stir. There you are
on the bed, like gift, like a touchable dream.

Anonymous said...

This one is also from RAPTURE. i bought it a while ago but had not started to read it. you reminded me of it. so thought i'd read it with you. here's the first poem i read:

TEA

I like pouring your tea, lifting
the heavy pot, and tipping it up,
so the fragrant liquid streams in your china cup.

Or when you’re away, or at work,
I like to think of your cupped hands as you sip,
as you sip, of the faint half-smile of your lips.

I like the questions – sugar? – milk? –
and the answers I don’t know by heart, yet,
for I see your soul in your eyes, and I forget.

Jasmine, Gunpowder, Assam, Earl Grey, Ceylon,
I love tea’s names. Which tea would you like? I say
but it’s any tea for you, please, any time of day,

as the women harvest the slopes
for the sweetest leaves, on Mount Wu-Yi,
and I am your lover, smitten, straining your tea.

lets read together. talk about what it does to me and you. thank you for this opportunity.

MAHIMA said...

dear A.

thanks for this poem.
like with PRAYER, which is the first poem i read of her, the sensory impact is high. i can almost smell the tea as its poured, feel the warmth of the cupped tea cup, hear someone ask "sugar?" "milk?"
i also love the deliberate ambiguity that so many of her poems seem to have. the ever elusive "you" of her poems almost haunt me.

Anonymous said...

yes, the senses... they move when i read these lines. it feels like a sudden heightened state. where you're acutely aware of every sound, every movement. so that if someone came and stood behind me right now i would shiver.

Anonymous said...

Talent
by Carol Ann Duffy

This is the word tightrope. Now imagine
a man, inching across it in the space
between our thoughts. He holds our breath.

There is no word net.

You want him to fall, don't you?
I guessed as much; he teeters but succeeds.
The word applause is written all over him.

Anonymous said...

here's a poem by lisa zran that i would like to share with you. i read it this mroning and thought of you. i visit your blog often and it always moves me and inspired me.

Girl

by Lisa Zaran

She said she collects pieces of sky,
cuts holes out of it with silver scissors,
bits of heaven she calls them.
Every day a bevy of birds flies rings
around her fingers, my chorus of wives,
she calls them. Every day she reads poetry
from dusty books she borrows from the library,
sitting in the park, she smiles at passing strangers,
yet can not seem to shake her own sad feelings.
She said that night reminds her of a cool hand
placed gently across her fevered brow, said
she likes to fall asleep beneath the stars,
that their streaks of light make her believe
that she too is going somewhere. Infinity,
she whispers as she closes her eyes,
descending into thin air, where no arms
outstretch to catch her.

Anonymous said...

i like lisa zaran. here is another by her.

Love Is Believable
by Lisa Zaran
love is believable
in every moment of exhaustion
in every heartbroken home
in every dark spirit,
the meaning unfolds...

...in every night that sings
of tomorrow. in every suicide
i carry deep inside my head.
in every lonely smile
that plays across my lips.
love is believable i tell you,
in every scrap of history,
in every sheen of want.

what can be wrong
that some days i have a tough time
believing.
and in each chamber of my heart
i pray.

i am amazed that so many people simultaneously are on your blog this moment. it says something about the range of people you reach, who connect to the things you write, the things you post and the things that move you.

Anonymous said...

i'm visiting after a few weeks now and i';m overwhelmed by the addition here. i always look forward to your posts (i have now subscribed to your site feed) and now i have enough to keep me busy all day. i love this post for hi-lighting poets who are contemporary, meaningful, and not so well known. this is certainly going to make me goodle lisa zaran!and perhaps buy duffy's new book.
thank you.

gloria said...

sharing poetry, i think must be one of the most meaningful things to do and most varying in its range of impact.
here is a poem by alice walker.

Before you knew you owned it by Alice Walker

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.

elizabeth said...

james tate is one of the poets i have chosen for a write up on contemporary poets. i read this today. i don't know what to think of it yet, but it certainly is making me think one way or other. here it is:

Dream On by James Tate

Some people go their whole lives
without ever writing a single poem.
Extraordinary people who don't hesitate
to cut somebody's heart or skull open.
They go to baseball games with the greatest of ease.
and play a few rounds of golf as if it were nothing.
These same people stroll into a church
as if that were a natural part of life.
Investing money is second nature to them.
They contribute to political campaigns
that have absolutely no poetry in them
and promise none for the future.
They sit around the dinner table at night
and pretend as though nothing is missing.
Their children get caught shoplifting at the mall
and no one admits that it is poetry they are missing.
The family dog howls all night,
lonely and starving for more poetry in his life.
Why is it so difficult for them to see
that, without poetry, their lives are effluvial.
Sure, they have their banquets, their celebrations,
croquet, fox hunts, their sea shores and sunsets,
their cocktails on the balcony, dog races,
and all that kissing and hugging, and don't
forget the good deeds, the charity work,
nursing the baby squirrels all through the night,
filling the birdfeeders all winter,
helping the stranger change her tire.
Still, there's that disagreeable exhalation
from decaying matter, subtle but everpresent.
They walk around erect like champions.
They are smooth-spoken and witty.
When alone, rare occasion, they stare
into the mirror for hours, bewildered.
There was something they meant to say, but didn't:
"And if we put the statue of the rhinoceros
next to the tweezers, and walk around the room three times,
learn to yodel, shave our heads, call
our ancestors back from the dead--"
poetrywise it's still a bust, bankrupt.
You haven't scribbled a syllable of it.
You're a nowhere man misfiring
the very essence of your life, flustering
nothing from nothing and back again.
The hereafter may not last all that long.
Radiant childhood sweetheart,
secret code of everlasting joy and sorrow,
fanciful pen strokes beneath the eyelids:
all day, all night meditation, knot of hope,
kernel of desire, pure ordinariness of life
seeking, through poetry, a benediction
or a bed to lie down on, to connect, reveal,
explore, to imbue meaning on the day's extravagant labor.
And yet it's cruel to expect too much.
It's a rare species of bird
that refuses to be categorized.
Its song is barely audible.
It is like a dragonfly in a dream--
here, then there, then here again,
low-flying amber-wing darting upward
then out of sight.
And the dream has a pain in its heart
the wonders of which are manifold,
or so the story is told.

MAHIMA said...

thank you for these. i saw them first thing in the morning and it feels like my day just got more meaningful. :)