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Feminine Gospels

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Throughout, Duffy makes some shrewd observations, and poses some fascinating thoughts and questions; in ‘The Long Queen’, for instance, she asks: ‘What was she queen of? In the famous Birthday line referenced above the line breaks perfectly mimic the way in which Monroe sang it, allowing the reader to begin to recollect even before the “Mr. Elaine Feinstein's Ted Hughes: The Life of a Poet is published by Phoenix, and her Collected Poems and Translations by Carcanet. Part of Duffy's talent -- besides her ear for ordinary eloquence, her gorgeous, powerful, throwaway lines, her subtlety -- is her ventriloquism . Her subjects encompass all female trials, tribulations and sufferings and indeed the human condition.

It is not merely a desire to encapsulate women, but a desire to press the issue of better understanding women. With each poem, the reader must relearn how to read, or at least take time to look at formatting not to miss the greater artistry present. This is a problem as I intend to collect all the anthologies published by Duffy in the advertised style.

Carol Ann Duffy lives in Manchester, where she is Professor and Creative Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. Throughout Feminine Gospels the reader understands a little bit more about how society views or pressures women, and even how women view and pressure themselves. Featuring a vibrant rainbow design, and our super-sized Q logo, you won't find a more stylish way to make a statement.

One of the most problematic portions of reviewing an entire book of poetry is that with each poem the reader is given a far different story or concept. In 2021, she was awarded the international lifetime achievement award the Golden Wreath for her achievements in poetry. Together, they will challenge and entertain as they explore the fullness of the female condition through their author's unique poetic voice.

Duffy takes the reader through the school day filling in each character as she goes, but the true exploration of each woman is not until we are able to understand her personal life. Overall, though, it must be said that Carol Ann Duffy's lyricism flows beautifully across the pages like water and it is a pure joy to read every single line of text. It was fine, there are some poems (A dreaming week, The Map-Woman, Sub) which I personally love, but overall as a collection I felt as if all of the themes, structures and general vibe of the poems were very similar throughout; It feels as if Duffy wanted to ensure that all of these poems linked perfectly but ended up making several very similar products. Helen of Troy changes into Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe puts Sinatra on her record player before going off to sing "Happy Birthday" to President Kennedy. Women, girls, / spinsters and hags, matrons, wet nurses, / witches, widows, wives, mothers of all those’.

I’d never have picked this up if it weren’t for Jen Campbell talking about her poems so passionately in one of her videos. When these two poems are considered together, it allows the reader to begin to connect to the poetry.

An anorexic shrivels like Alice until she is blown away as a seed, to nestle at length in the stomach of a gloriously self-indulgent eater. In Feminine Gospels, the woman – in all of her many shapes and forms – has been presented as the oracle. The Map-Woman’ is a powerful and thoughtful poem, about the experiences and places mapped upon a body; ‘Beautiful’ holds a few echoes of ‘The Lady of Shallot’; ‘The Diet’ is about a woman who starves herself so much that she ends up shrinking.

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