, , , ,

Hello everyone!  I am pleased to introduce our guest blogger for today, Kim!

Hi, I’m Kim of Writing in North Norfolk.com, and this is my first time hosting dVerse Poets Pub Poetics. I’m nervous, excited and grateful for the opportunity to be here. Please be gentle with me.

Dame Carol Ann Duffy DBE FRSL is one of my favourite modern poets. She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University and has been Britain’s Poet Laureate since May 2009, the first woman, first Scot, and first openly LGBT person to hold the position.

One of her collections of poetry, The World’s Wife, takes characters, stories, histories and myths that focus on men and presents them from the point of view of the women behind the men, with themes such as sexism, equality, bereavement and birth. From Mrs Midas to Queen Kong, from Elvis’s twin sister to Pygmalion’s bride, she has turned well-known stories on their heads.

Although it is hard for me to choose a favourite, the two poems that stand out for me in the collection are ‘Anne Hathaway’ and ‘Elvis’s Twin Sister’.


‘Item I gyve unto my wief my second best bed…’
(from Shakespeare’s will)

The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, cliff-tops, seas
where he would dive for pearls. My lover’s words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights I dreamed he’d written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer’s hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love – 
I hold him in the casket of my widow’s head
as he held me upon that next best bed.
Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Elvis’s Twin Sister by Carol Ann Duffy

Are you lonesome tonight? Do you miss me tonight?
Elvis is alive and she’s female: Madonna

In the convent, y’all
I tend the gardens,
watch things grow,
pray for the immortal soul
of rock ‘n’ roll
They call me
Sister Presley here.
The Reverend Mother
digs the way I move my hips
just like my brother
Gregorian chant
drifts out across the herbs,
Pascha nostrum immolatus est…
I wear a simple habit,
darkish hues,
a wimple with novice-sewn
lace band, a rosary,
a chain of keys,
a pair of good and sturdy
blue suede shoes.
I think of it
as Graceland here,
a land of grace.
It puts my trademark slow lopsided smile
back on my face
I’m alive and well.
Long time since I walked
down Lonely Street
towards Heartbreak Hotel.

The challenge for this week’s Poetics is to take a character, fictional or non-fictional, and re-write their story from the point of view of their husband or wife. To avoid any accusations of libel, no living people please!

If you are new, here’s how to join:

See you at the poetry trail. Grace

About our guest blogger:

My name is Kim and I live in Norfolk, England, not far from the North Sea coast: the perfect place for inspiration. I have been writing poetry since I was a teenager, a very long time now. When I lived in Cologne in Germany during the seventies and early eighties, I wrote in German and English, and had several poems published. Now I write only in English, with a few translations now and again. Until a few years ago, I was teaching at a high school and didn’t have much time for writing, but since I’ve retired, it seems like I can’t stop! I’m in the process of revising a novel for children, set in Second World War Two London; I’m half-way through a young adult novel set on the North Norfolk coast; and I’ve started developing another young adult novel set in Norwich. My first love, however, is poetry, which is why I’m delighted to have discovered the dVerse Poets Pub, to which I look forward every week.