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This is a poem that I've just finished doing in class at the moment, it's part of Carol Ann Duffy's poem collection, 'The World's Wife'. I think it's fantastic, it's written in the form of a sonnet and is about love, but each line can be analysed in a negative and pessimistic way . The thing I love the most about the poem is not only that it is the first sonnet of the collection but that it is the first that talks about love fondly, not attacking the man that broke her heart.

Anne Hathaway
by Carol Ann Duffy from The World's Wife

'Item I gyve unto my wife my second best bed ...'
(from Shakespeare's will)

The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas
where we would dive for pearls. My lover's words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights, I dreamed he'd written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer's hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love -
I hold him in the casket of my widow's head
as he held me upon that next best bed.

It's full of double entendres and metaphors and is absolutely fantastic, I would recommend 'The World's Wife' to anyone with a literary interest, as it is absolutely gripping. I'm not always a fan of poetry, I did Chaucer last year and didn't particularly like it, but with this collection it's so easy to be drawn into them. Each poem is about a wife of a different man, famous in history for one reason or another and gives each a view into their lives where it may not have been the man who came up with whatever they were famous for and all of them evoke an emotion. 

Mrs Darwin

7 April 1852.

Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him--
Something about that Chimpanzee over there reminds me of you. 

This one was hilarious - trust the man to take all the credit! (it was only in the late 1850s that he published his theory of evolution!)


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November 2008

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