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Carol Ann Duffy


Ms. Malone
Carol Ann Duffy is a fab poet, they're pretty dark but can be a bit funny too. I'm going to post two of my faves. Havisham and Salome.

Beloved sweetheart bastard. Not a day since then
I haven't wished him dead. Prayed for it
so hard I've dark green pebbles for eyes,
ropes on the back of my hands I could strangle with.
Spinster. I stink and remember. Whole days
in bed cawing Nooooo at the wall; the dress
yellowing, trembling if I open the wardrobe;
the slewed mirror, full-length, her, myself, who did this

to me? Puce curses that are sounds not words.
Some nights better, the lost body over me,
my fluent tongue in its mouth in its ear
then down till suddenly bite awake. Love's

hate behind a white veil; a red balloon bursting
in my face. Bang. I stabbed at a wedding cake.
Give me a male corpse for a long slow honeymoon.
Don't think it's only the heart that b-b-b-breaks.

I'd done it before
(and doubtless i'd do it again, sooner or later)
woke up with a head on my pillow beside me -whose?-
what did it matter?
Good looking, of course, dark hair, rather matted;
the reddish beard several shades lighter;
with very deep lines around the eyes,
from pain, i'd guess, maybe laughter;
and a beautiful crimson mouth that obviously knew
how to flatter...
whuch i kissed...
Colder than pewter.
Strange. What was his name? Peter?

Simon? Andrew? John? I knew i'd feel better
for tea, dry toast, no butter,
so rang for the maid.
And, indeed, her innocent clatter
of cups and plates,
her cleaning of clutter,
her regional patter,
were just what needed -
hungover and wrecked as i was from a night on the batter.

Never again!
I needed to clean up my act,
get fitter,
cut out the booze and the fags and the sex.
Yes. And as for the latter,
it was time to turf out the blighter,
he beater or biter,
who'd come like a lamb to the slaughter
to Salome's bed.

In the mirror, i saw my eyes glitter.
I flung back the sticky red sheets,
and there, i said -and ain't life a bitch-
was his head on a platter.

I'm soo glad i saved that page from the poetry mag that was given to me at the poetry day for my GCSE's, i had to write Salome out!