Anglican Samizdat

May 1, 2009

The new Poet Laureate

Filed under: The fall of the West — David Jenkins @ 10:45 pm

Carol Anne Duffy, a bisexual 53 year old is the new Poet Laureate:

Her predecessors stretch in an illustrious line all the way back to 1688.

But as she was appointed Poet Laureate yesterday, Carol Ann Duffy, the first woman to hold the post, insisted she will be carving out her own path.

Verses on demand for royal occasions, she declared, are simply not her style.

‘I don’t have to write anything about anything if I don’t want to,’ she told Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour programme.

Yesterday her appointment to the ten-year £5,000-a-year post was welcomed by Gordon Brown.

‘She is a truly brilliant modern poet who has stretched our imaginations by putting the whole range of human experiences into lines that capture the emotions perfectly,’ he said.

Lines like:

‘Today I am going to kill something. Anything/I am tired of being ignored and today/I am going to play God.’

I expect that has captured Gordon Brown’s emotions perfectly considering his plummeting popularity.

One of my favourite poems is “Stuffed”; here is an excerpt – plagiarised from The Idiot’s Guide to Taxidermy:

I put two yellow peepers in an owl.
Wow. I fix the grin of Crocodile.
Spiv. I sew the slither of an eel.
I jerk, kick-start, the back hooves of a mule.
Wild. I hold the red rag to a bull.
Mad. I spread the feathers of a gull.

I have it on good authority that the Queen is secretly relieved that Duffy won’t be putting pen to paper for royal occasions.



  1. If she had included a few more reptiles, this poem could have rivaled Ode to An Expiring Frog.

    Comment by Jason — May 1, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

  2. One of our Canadian poet laureates also announced, on getting the job, that he had no intention of writing anything if he didn’t feel like it. Of course, he still expected to be paid for doing zip-all.

    Nice “work” if you can get it. . .

    Comment by Ellie M. — May 2, 2009 @ 9:36 am

  3. After having read an example of her work, so are the rest of us.

    Comment by Ann — May 9, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

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