Enjoy this enchanting poem by former UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
THE LOOK by Carol Ann Duffy The heron’s the look of the river. The moon’s the look of the night. The sky’s the look of forever. Snow is the look of white. The bees are the look of the honey. The wasp is the look of pain. The clown is the look of funny. Puddles are the look of rain. The whale is the look of the ocean. The grave is the look of the dead. The wheel is the look of motion. Blood is the look of red. The rose is the look of the garden. The girl is the look of the school. The snake is the look of the Gorgon. Ice is the look of cool. The clouds are the look of the weather. The hand is the look of the glove. The bird is the look of the feather. You are the look of love. ~ from The Hat (London: Faber & Faber, 2007).
I love Duffy’s line of thinking — that one thing can be emblematic of another. We see how the human mind works, making associations and connections, sometimes between the tangible and intangible.
She actually had me at the first stanza: “the sky’s the look of forever” is such a lovely way to define the infinite. Poets do love a good metaphor.
Did the final line catch you by surprise? Duffy saved her direct address, one that veers from the established syntax, to powerful effect. “You are the look of love” trumps all that came before.
With its rhyme, repetition, and parallel structure, “The Look” reads like a revelatory incantation, arousing the reader’s curiosity as the pattern is established and each line introduces another comparison. Once the narrator has you in her thrall, she reveals the most important look of all at the very end.
This poem made me think:
The poem is the look of the heart.
Though I’m not a poet, I can see that “The Look” would make an excellent mentor text. Please feel free to share any “looks” of your own in the comments. 🙂
The lovely and talented Irene Latham is hosting the Roundup at Live Your Poem. Check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere this week and have a beautiful weekend!
♥️ Self taught Irish artist Rine Philbin, whose work graces this post, has been painting since childhood. Having grown up on a farm near the sea, her art is informed by the beautiful seascapes, landscapes and woods she has known and loved all her life. She works in watercolor, acrylics, and oil. Learn more at her Official Website.
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