Glasgow born Carol Ann Duffy has shone in the five months since she was appointed Poet Laureate, and has proved herself to be the most productive and relevant laureate in generations. She recently published her sixth laureate poem "Atlas". Two of these six poems, "Politics" and "Last Post" stand out as proof, in my most humble opinion, of the relevance of modern poetry.
Her first official poem was a passionate commentary on the MPs expenses scandal, worth a re-read given the letters winging their way to the unrepentant.
Politics by Carol Ann Duffy
How it makes of your face a stone
that aches to weep, of your heart a fist,
clenched or thumping, sweating blood, of your tongue
an iron latch with no door. How it makes of your right hand
a gauntlet, a glove-puppet of the left, of your laugh
a dry leaf blowing in the wind, of your desert island discs
hiss hiss hiss, makes of the words on your lips dice
that can throw no six. How it takes the breath
away, the piss, makes of your kiss a dropped pound coin,
makes of your promises latin, gibberish, feedback, static,
of your hair a wig, of your gait a plankwalk. How it says this –
politics – to your education education education; shouts this –
Politics! – to your health and wealth; how it roars, to your
conscience moral compass truth, POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS.
Carol Ann Duffy - 2009