Duffy’s Pop at Politicians/Scotland’s National Poet – Poetry News Roundup October 15th

We begin the week here on My Poetic Side with a look at Carol Ann Duffy’s final collection of poetry as poet laureate. We also have an article about the new national poet of Scotland.

Carol Ann Duffy Takes a Pop at Politicians

The UK Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, is officially due to end her tenure of the role in 2019. Her latest poetry collection is therefore the final one she will publish as  laureate and she has taken the opportunity to have a parting shot at both Donald Trump and other politicians who are responsible for leading the UK into what is looking to be a complicated Brexit.

She hasn’t mentioned anyone by name but in the poem “The Ex-Ministers” Duffy has written:

The poem Swearing In has been dedicated to a whole list of new insults aimed at Donald Trump including

The new collection, titled “Sincerity” was launched on Thursday at the Literature Festival in Manchester where she discussed the inspiration for the collection saying she had found her inspiration in the

Whilst there are plenty of jibes aimed at un-named politicians, both those who have no left office and those who remain it would seem that Trump has really come in for the biggest insults. In the poem Gorilla Duffy talks about meeting a Gorilla at the zoo an ends the poem with the line

She also has plenty of insults for him in the poem Swearing In

the later is taken from

a 16th Century poem by William Dunbar – Mandrake is an unpleasant root/thing that is unwanted and mymmerkin a short person.

It does however seem to be those people who are involved in politics who have be spared no punches by Ms Duffy. She still has a great deal of respect for HRH the Queen, referring to her as

in one of her poems.

She also pays homage to a number of historical figures in the collection; Charlotte Bronte, Queen Victoria and William Shakespeare.

A National Poet for Scotland

The writer Jackie Kay has been made Scotland’s national poet. When the call came, even though she had been told that Scotlands First Minister would be ringing her, she as so lost for words that she passed the phone to her mum.

Nicola Sturgeon’s call came through when she was taking her parents out to afternoon tea. She asked if Jackie would like to be Makar, national poet, and that she had been chosen in a unanimous decision.

She is now hoping to help spread poetry all over Scotland and into every part of Scottish life. One of her works is already included in the baby boxes that are given to new mothers in Scotland and she was also involved in opening the new political session at Holyrood with a poetry reading.



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