poetry friday roundup is here!

“Poets sing our human music for us.” ~ Carol Ann Duffy

Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup!

Hope you’re having a good April and enjoying National Poetry Month, whether you’re reading, writing, listening to, or discovering new poets (or all of the above). 🙂

I do love poems about poetry, and can’t think of a better time to share this favorite by former UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

I found it in her New and Collected Poems for Children (Faber & Faber, 2014), which includes some new verses along with work from four of her award-winning collections. It’s simply chock full of goodness — there’s even an alphabet poem which I should share some time.

The Queen receives incoming Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy (July 2009).

I find it interesting that UK Poet Laureates serve for such long terms. Although they’re now appointed to 10-year fixed terms, prior to 1999, they served for life (upon recommendation from the prime minister and approval of the sovereign). 

Carol Ann’s tenure was from 2009-2019. She was the first female, the first Scot, and the first openly gay and bisexual poet to be so honored, breaking a longstanding tradition of almost 400 years! UK Poet Laureates receive an annual honorarium and a barrel of sherry. 🙂

“Flying Kites” by Renie Britenbucher (2011)
THE WORDS OF POEMS
by Carol Ann Duffy

The words of poems are nails
which tack the wind to a page,
so that the gone hour 
when your kite pulled you over the field
blows in your hair.

They’re hand-mirrors, a poem’s words,
holding the wept tears on your face,
like a purse holds small change, or the breath
that said things.

                                   They’re fishing-nets,
scooping sprats and tiddlers out of a stream
or the gleaming trout that startled the air
when you threw it back. The words of poems

are stars, dot-to-dots of the Great Bear,
the Milky Way your telescope caught; or breves
filled with the light of the full moon you saw
from your bedroom window; or little flames
like the tongues of Hallowe’en candles.

The words of poems are spells, dropping
like pennies into a wishing-well, remember
the far splash? They’re sparklers,
scrawling their silver loops and hoops
on the night, again in your gloved fist
on November the Fifth.

They’re goldfish
in their sad plastic bags at the fair,
you stood there. The words of poems
are coins in a poor man’s hat; the claws of a lost cat.
The words of poems are who you were.
“Ursa Major” by Kristiana Parn

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Now, please leave your links with the dashing Mr. Linky below. Enjoy gallivanting from blog to blog, reading the many words of poems being shared this week. Thank you for joining us and have a nice weekend. You can find the NPM Kidlitosphere Roundup at Susan Bruck’s Soul Blossom Living.

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Another bite for the road.

*Copyright © 2021 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

48 thoughts on “poetry friday roundup is here!

  1. Oh, Jama…that poem! That is the first I’ve read that one. And, it’s a keeper for sure. Such surprising and poignant language. Nails for the wind. The illustrations you chose to illustrate this post are lovely…I never tire of artist’s renditions of the Big Dipper. Thank you for hosting this week. I always enjoy visiting here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea of poems as the “far splash” of pennies in a wishing well. So many great images in that poem. Perfect for this month. Thanks for the poem and for hosting us!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All poets write words that are like “spells” when we write. I love that idea. Thank you for sharing this poem full of provocative images and this poet. Carol Ann Duffy is new to me and I’d like to read more of her. Thanks for hosting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Going to save this poem…so many amazing images!! So struck by all the air in the poem — the wind, the breath, the trout-surprised air, the sky lit with stars or sparklers. Around us everywhere, in our memory, in our hands. Thanks for hosting! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Carol Ann Duffy’s poem and especially this part,
    “They’re fishing-nets,
    scooping sprats and tiddlers out of a stream”
    Thanks also for the lovely spread, my mouth is watering and ready for a bite… Especially at the table of the delish doggie and bird at the top—smiling from all—and thanks for hosting too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a gorgeous poem, Jama. It so beautifully captures the words of great poems. This poem makes me swoon! Thank you for sharing and for hosting this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t have any other book by Carol Ann Duffy but have read a few poems, mostly because I have the picture book by her, The Tear Thief, and that’s how I discovered her. I think I must have this book of poems that holds this marvelous poem. It is fabulous, all those things we all know but we need someone to tell us, too! Thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for the introduction to Carol Ann Duffy and sharing this particular poem: I was that kid at the fair holding “goldfish in their sad plastic bags” – her images are so poignant. I find it interesting that UK Poet Laureates receive “a barrel of sherry” for their service. Imagine the poetry that can be create with that! Thank you, Jama, for being the consummate PF hostess with the mostess. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I had the privilege of listening to Carol Ann Duffy read her poem aloud at the Singapore Writers Festival – it makes me nostalgic for literary events that feed the soul. I am happy that your posts do that to me, too, dear Jama. They are indeed food for the soul. Melike the heart-shaped concoction you have going there. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That picture is amazing. Thanks for teaching me about the UK Poet Laureate as well! I had no idea and now I can’t help but wonder what the story is between that sherry they receive.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Jama, thank you for this sharing of Carol Ann Duffy’s work… a 10 year PL post adds a certain gravitas, doesn’t it? I need this book. Thank you for hosting! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for hosting us today, Jama. And thank you for sharing this glorious poem! There are so many perfect images. I do love the stars, “dot-to-dots of the Great Bear,” but the poignancy of the “hand mirrors…holding the wept tears on your face” will stay with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks so much for hosting us at your always-beautiful blog! I’m a big fan of Duffy’s too, but I didn’t know the UK Poet Laureates served so long AND got a barrel of sherry! Love that detail! Hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jama, thank you for hosting this week’s round-up! I love all the similies in the poem you shared! I had no idea about the length of term Poet Laureates serve here or abroad. Thank you for educating us all on that fact! I love the dessert at the end of today’s post, as well! Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You had me at the barrel of sherry. Huzzah! Poems really are different for each and every one of us, aren’t they. That truly is the beauty of poetry. Thank you, Jama, for introducing me to Duffy and her work. I’m looking forward to exploring it further.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A barrel of sherry!? Wow, I wonder what we give our laureates that compares! Hopefully an honorarium… though I guess you could sell the sherry? Thank you for sharing this poem. I’ve heard of Ms. Duffy before, but I somehow had missed that piece of her identity as the first openly gay laureate. I LOVE that Ursa Major image – and dare I hope that’s a watermelon heart? I’m so ready for melon season…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you, Jama, for hosting this week with such a fine poem. The treats were lovely as well. I always love sitting at your table filled with delicacies and poetry goodness that you prepare for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What a beautiful poem, Jama. I resonate with “the gone hour / when your kite pulled you over the field/
    blows in your hair.” Except instead of a kite, our new dog would be pulling me over the field! Thank you for hosting today.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh, I love this poem and especially the first two stanzas. It reminds me a bit of Eloise Greenfield’s “Things.” I’ll be reading this one again and again. Thanks so much for introducing me to Carol Ann Duffy and for hosting today.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow. What a poem. I’ve read some Duffy poems, but never this one. And now I realize I must get whatever collection holds this amazing poem and dive in. Thanks for hosting, Jama, and also for sharing this amazing poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I am late arriving to the party, Jama, yet your table remains full and I come away replenished! Duffy’s words stir my spirit – as do yours, always. As much as your photos feed my hungry eyes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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