In a statement last year, Duffy said she was “honoured and humbled” to be the first female laureate in more than 340 years.
“Poetry is all around us, all of the time, whether in song or in speech or on the page, and we turn to it when events, personal or public, matter most,” she said.
“In accepting this Laureateship, I hope to contribute to people’s understanding of what poetry can do, and where it can be found.”
I discovered Carol Ann Duffy’s work with “The world’s wife” and got hooked on this intoxicating mixture of humour, wit and poetry. Since then, I always go back to reading her poems when I feel in need of a caustic pick-me-up or a romantic, passionate embrace… In her latest collection “Rapture”, which deservedly won the T.S Eliot prize, she find timeless accents of deep love and longing while keeping her language cristal-clear and as simple as the emotions she describes. I particularly enjoy “Hour”; so here it is as a gift:
By Carol Ann Duffy
Love’s time’s beggar, but even a single hour,
bright as a dropped coin, makes love rich.
We find an hour together, spend it not on flowers
or wine, but the whole of the summer sky and a grass ditch.
For thousands of seconds we kiss; you hair
like treasure on the ground; the Midas light
turning your limbs to gold. Time slows, for here
we are millionaires, backhanding the night
so nothing dark will end our shining hour,
no jewel hold a candle to the cuckoo spit
hung from a blade of grass at your ear,
no chandelier or spotlight see you better lit
than here. Now. Time hates love, wants love poor,
but love spins gold, gold from straw.