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Jeanette Winterson on the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy – of course it's political

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Duffy’s 1999 collection The World’s Wife gives the women behind the scenes – from Mrs Midas to Queen Kong – a glorious and powerful voice. She is a poet of vast imagination

Poetry is pleasure.

Sometimes people say to me, “why should I read a poem?” There are plenty of answers, from the profound – a poem is such an ancient means of communication that it feels like an evolutionary necessity – to the practical; a poem is like a shot of espresso – the fastest way to get a hit of mental and spiritual energy.

I was wind, I was gas

I was all hot air, trailed

I flew in my chains over the wood where

we’d buried

But behind each player stood a line of

ghosts

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