Friday, April 6, 2012

WordParty Poetry Challenge - Writing Prompt #6

Day #6
by Bear

Prompt:  This prompt is inspired by the work of Carol Ann Duffy.  She is a Scottish poet who writes in the voice of historic and fictional women, many whom often have famous husbands.  Write a poem from the point of view of a historical women who had a more famous husband or brother.  (i.e. Abigail Adams, Lil Armstrong, Marion Aldrin, Joséphine de Beauharnais, Constanze Mozart, Michelle Obama, Christopher Columbus' wife Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, Lauren Bacall etc)

Two of the poems below are by Duffy. The first example is a poem from Shakespeare's Wife's perspective.  The second is Miss Havisham from Great Expectations.

Anne Hathaway
by Carol Ann Duffy

The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas
where we would dive for pearls. My lover's words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights, I dreamed he'd written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer's hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love -
I hold him in the casket of my widow's head
as he held me upon that next best bed.

by Carol Ann Duffy 

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 backs 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  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.