The World’s Wife – Carol Anne Duffy (1999)


the worlds wife

This is the second poetry collection that I have reviewed this year, The World’s Wife was chosen by one of my two book groups as our May book. I already knew that I really liked Carol Ann Duffy’s work, although I hadn’t really read that much before – and never an entire collection in one go. This collection, first published in 1999 was Carol Ann Duffy’s first themed collection. In these wonderful poems Carol Ann Duffy takes traditional stories, tales of historical figures and myths which traditionally focus on a male character or perspective. Turning these stories on their head then, we see them from the perspective of the invisible women behind those men.

“Teach me, he said –
we were lying in bed –
how to care.
I nibbled the purse of his ear.
What do you mean? Tell me more.
He sat up and reached for his beer”

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