Archive for April, 2010

Revised version

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

I saw what I assume is the definitive version of Carol Ann Duffy’s wonderful poem in this morning’s Guardian, so I’ve updated the version I put together yesterday from her radio broadcast.

The definitive version is even better than my imagined one – see the real thing below.

Silver lining

Monday, April 19th, 2010


Carol Ann Duffy is a tremendous poet and this morning I heard her reading a new poem she’d written about the cloud of volcanic ash that’s covering Europe. As always, she has produced a pattern of images that are immensely rewarding to contemplate.

She read the poem on the BBC’s Today programme, and I haven’t seen it in print so I can’t know that I’ve got the punctuation or the layout right. But here’s a link to her reading it, as well.


Five miles up the hush and shush of ash,
Yet the sky is as clean as a white slate -
I could write my childhood there.
Selfish to sit in this garden, listening to the past
(A gentleman bee wooing its flower, a lawnmower)
When the grounded planes mean ruined plans,
Holidays on hold, sore absences at weddings, funerals… windless commerce.
But Britain’s birds sing in this spring from Inverness to Liverpool, from Crieff to Cardiff,
Oxford, Londontown, Land’s End to John O’Groats.
The music’s silence summons,
That Shakespeare heard, and Edward Thomas, and briefly, us.

By Carol Ann Duffy