Thursday, April 6, 2017

Celebrating Duffy and Tartans During National Poetry Month

National Tartan Day is an annual American observance on April 6 commemorating the Scottish Declaration of Independence, upon which the American Declaration of Independence was modelled. It also recognizes achievements of Americans of Scottish descent. Enjoy this poem by Carol Ann Duffy, Scotland's first female poet laureate.


Beloved sweetheart bastard. Not a day since then
I haven’t wished him dead. Prayed for it
so hard I’ve dark green pebbles for eyes,
ropes on the back of my hands I could strangle with.

Spinster. I stink and remember. Whole days
in bed cawing Nooooo at the wall; the dress
yellowing, trembling if I open the wardrobe;
the slewed mirror, full-length, her, myself, who did this

to me? Puce curses that are sounds not words.
Some nights better, the lost body over me,
my fluent tongue in its mouth in its ear
then down till I suddenly bite awake. Love’s

hate behind a white veil; a red balloon bursting
in my face. Bang. I stabbed at a wedding cake.
Give me a male corpse for a long slow honeymoon.
Don’t think it’s only the heart that b-b-b-breaks.

by Carol Ann Duffy
from New Selected Poems 1984-2004
courtesy Scottish Poetry Library

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