Thursday, May 7, 2009

341 years later . . .

The Brits have finally named a bint [slang for woman] as their national bard.

The writer Carol Ann Duffy has been appointed as Britain's first woman poet laureate, following in the footfalls of men such as Alfred Lord Tennyson and William Wordsworth.

The Glasgow native, 53, has been publishing poetry since she was 16. Today, Duffy is regarded as both popular and profound, and according to the New York Times, "is known for using a deceptively simple style to produce accessible, often mischevious poems dealing with the darkest turmoil and the lightest minutiae of everyday life."

Duffy defines herself as "a poet and a mother (to 13-year-old Ella)," and accepted the ten-year position "purely because they hadn't had a woman."

A sampling of her work for your poetic pleasure:

Elvis' Twin Sister

Are you lonesome tonight? Do you miss me tonight?
Elvis is alive and she's female: Madonna

In the convent, y'all,
I tend the gardens,
watch things grow,
pray for the immortal soul
of rock 'n' roll.

They call me
Sister Presley here,
The Reverend Mother
digs the way I move my hips
just like my brother.

Gregorian chant
drifts out across the herbs
Pascha nostrum immolatus est ...
I wear a simple habit,
darkish hues,

a wimple with a novice-sewn
lace band, a rosary,
a chain of keys,
a pair of good and sturdy
blue suede shoes.

I think of it
as Graceland here,
a land of grace.
It puts my trademark slow lopsided smile
back on my face.

I'm alive and well.
Long time since I walked
down Lonely Street
toward Heartbreak Hotel.

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