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Carol Ann Duffy is the first lesbian Poet Laureate

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  1. Headline: “Carol Ann Duffy is the first lesbian Poet Laureate”

    Isn’t the fact that Carol is the first woman Poet Laureate more fundamental than her sexual orientation?

  2. After a quick google, other news sites seem to have led with the fact that she is a woman. Pink news have obviously led with her being a lesbian. Seems fair enough.

  3. The Menstruator 1 May 2009, 1:29pm

    Her sexuality and her gender is important. For all of the reasons you cheer for any male who prevails over any woman. So please. Go stuff yourself.
    Lesbian means woman anyway. All women are really lesbians. Who the hell besides a man would want to put that thing in thier mouth?

  4. Rachel Titley 1 May 2009, 2:29pm

    Oh dear. Really, oh dear. Nothing against Ms Duffy at all, I have fond memories of studying her poems at GCSE English in fact, but every single child who sits GCSE English studies a collection of her poems. The Poet Laureat should never be someone who is on a compulsary sylabus year in, year out. It’s bad for poetry, because most youngsters will be put off. The Poet Laureat should be someone like Mitch Benn or Les Barker, we need some cheering up

  5. Chris Holliday 1 May 2009, 4:04pm

    The fact that she is lesbian is as irrelevant as the fact that she is a woman. These may be the reasons why she appears in GCSE’s Anthology for students: they are not reasons for making her Poet laureate. Sadly, not is her poetry a sufficient reason. It is a sad but unsurprising day for literature that such an average poet has attained this position. A shame that those who make this choice didnot bother to look in that same GCSE Anthology: they would have found Seamus H.eaney

  6. Jean-Paul 1 May 2009, 5:41pm

    Was I right or was I right when I said that GLBT persons are the best writers/poets the world has ever seen?

    From Sappho to George Sand to Jane Rule to Margaret Atwood.. and now Carol Ann Duffy as Poet Laureat of Great Britain!

    Stop grizzling and rejoice! Do you have any idea how much work and inner turmoil goes into being a poet? Send her a card, or a some flowers or even a bottle of bubbly, but please, don’t grizzle.

  7. I prefer that Simon Armitage. Or John Cooper Clarke. “First ex-heroin addict appointed poet laureate”.

  8. A poet is never appreciated in her own home. Take a look at what 365gay dot com has to say about this wonderful and talented woman and learn something about literary criticism, American and Canadian style.

  9. Seamus Heaney has ruled himself out, on account of the colour of his passport (Irish Emerald green)… lots of other good poets similarly made it clear they didn’t want to take it on. In any case, now we have a new Laureate every 10 years, it doesn’t have to be ‘the best poet in the country, ever’… it’s just one of the good poets. And she’s definitely one of them. I think she’s v brave for taking it on. I thank her – and wish her well.

  10. Adam Lowe 2 May 2009, 4:21am

    I frankly find her work mediocre, but then I studied her for GCSE and ‘A’ Level, and studied her girlfriend for my degree. So it was frankly overkill! But I’m glad a lesbian got it, although they could’ve gone one better and given it to her girlfriend, Jackie Kay (Scottish, female, gay AND black). Now that would have been right-on! ;-)

  11. A women, a Lesbian, a “Poet Laureate”

    Fantastic . . .

    Now that we have gone mainstream, heterosexuals now have no excuse to neglect the creativity and profound wisodom that can be borne of same-sex love,

  12. Jean-Paul 4 May 2009, 2:03am

    John K:

    Right on, my man, right on!

    Heterosexuals may have never heard of Jane Rule, Aphra Behn or even George Sand, but they will not be able to ignore this incredibly talented poetess, Carol Ann Duffy as Poet Laureate of the UK.

    Frankly, I am surprised by what appears to be a rather blasé attitude coming from some women on this thread.

    But judging from some of the previous poets who have accpted this honor, I can understanding their wondering what all the fuss is about.

  13. Brian Burton 4 May 2009, 3:52pm

    Jean-Paul, you are quite right in your comments on this fine poet as incredibly talented. I have always loved poetry, the first one I learned by heart was ‘The Daffodils’ I Wandered Lonley As A Cloud…Etcetra. (William Wordsworth) A young Friend of me and my Partner, Died suddenly aged 23 years. Here’s what we said at the funeral: Death is nothing at all. I have onley slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other , that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no differance into your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laghed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile think of me, prey for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost in it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner… All is well.

  14. Jean-Paul 6 May 2009, 1:40am


    My Prince, my most charming Prince, ‘The Daffodils’ is written on a small elongated and plasticized card that I have been using as a bookmark for at least the last 30 years.

    The rest of your post is something that I will copy and keep as long as I live.

    When I was a lad of 9-years old (1954), one Saturday morning in early december, a friend of mine, Jean-Pierre, 8-years old, and I were foolish enough to go onto the thin ice of Bathurst Harbour.

    I fell through the ice first into the most glacial water I had ever felt, and managed somehow to regain the surface although my heavy winter clothes were drenched and weighing me down.

    Jean-Pierre was too young to understand the gravity of the situation and I will forever see his laughing face as he leaned over to give me a hand. Our hands had barely touched when the ice gave way beneath him.

    As I clung to the edge of the broken ice, I could see him sinking without the least impression on his face and without any struggle to regain the surface. I shouted to him to kick his feet and to move his arms but he gradually sank out of sight, and the current took him out into the Bay of Chaleur because the tide was going out at the time.

    I send a Christmas card every year to the man who pulled me out of the water and I place a plastic poinsetta on Jean-Pierre’s gravestone on December 4th.

    I blamed myself for his death all through my teenage years and beyond. In those days, and in little communities like this one, therapy was unheard of, and the policy at home as well as at school was to ‘Not say a word about it, he’ll get over it).

    I was not even given a chance to cry. I was in a coma for three days because of the effects of hypothermia, and when I woke up, I heard a nursing nun saying: ‘Poor thing.’ I looked at her and asked: ‘Where’s Jean-Pierre?’ She repeated :’Poor thing.’ and walked away from me.

    Hours later my father, stinking of rhum and tobacco as usual, came to tell me that Jean-Pierre’s body had been recovered from the bay and that he was already burried.

    Whenever I speak about it, as I am doing now, it feels like a raging storm is unfolding in my chest.

    Years later, when I had the courage to go to the library and to look up the edition of our weekly newspaper which covered the accident, I saw both our school pictures on the front page. The article stated that an autopsy had revealed that there was not a drop of water in Jean-Pierre’s lungs. He died instantly of shock when he dropped into the glacial waters. His heart stopped all at once. I then understood why he had sunk so motionlessly; he was already dead.

    The eulogy for your friend is something I have been waiting a lifetime to hear.

    Thank you so much, mon cher Brian.

  15. Brian Burton 6 May 2009, 11:47am

    Message received and Appeciaed.
    Love is fed by the imagination, by which we become wiser than we know, better than we feel, nobler than we are: By which we can see life as a whole. Only what is fine can feed Love, but anything will feed HATE.

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