Politics is “a glove-puppet” of images twisting emotion twisting reason. What wordplay, what music, what cargo! Duffy reminds us of the grave degradation of our political landscape. How can it be fixed? Dare we say POLITICS?
How it makes your face a stone
that aches to weep, your heart a fist,
clenched or thumping, your tongue
an iron latch with no door; your right hand
a gauntlet, a glove-puppet the left, your laugh
a dry leaf twitching in the wind, your desert island discs
hiss hiss hiss, the words on your lips dice
that throw no six.
How it takes the breath
away, the piss, your kiss a dropped pound coin,
your promises latin, feedback, static, gibberish,
your hair a wig, your gait a plankwalk. How it says
politics – to your education, fairness, health; shouts
Politics! – to your industry, investment, wealth; roars, to your
conscience, moral compass, truth, POLITICS POLITICS.
Carol Ann Duffy is the author or editor of several volumes of poetry, including The World’s Wife, Rapture, and also books for children. She has received, among other honors, the Forward Prize, the Whitbread Poetry Award, the Lannan Award, and the E. M. Forster Prize for her work. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Duffy lives in Manchester, England, and is currently Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Erin Goss is a bookseller at Left Bank Books.