on poetry

December 23, 2020


“Poets sing our human music for us.”
Carol Ann Duffy
(b. December 23, 1955)

. . . . .
photo by Jemima Kuhfeld

Since early April, poet Carol Ann Duffy has been choosing and posting poems from her library to comfort and inspire in times of isolation. Each Thursday, a new poem is published with minimal commentary in The Guardian’s Poems to get us through.

how to read a poem

March 27, 2015

Leicester Cathedral

Now and then a poem finds its way into the heart of an historic moment. Yesterday, at Leicester Cathedral, amidst pomp and ceremony, Carol Ann Duffy’s poem “Richard” was honored with such a moment. As part of the reburial of the bones of Richard III, Benedict Cumberbatch read Duffy’s poem. Watch and listen. Then read more about the ceremony from the BBC.

finding inspiration…

November 14, 2012

The Polar Museum, Scott Polar Research InstituteImagine being given the key to a museum. For two weeks, you browse exhibits, explore collections and meet with researchers. At the end of your residency, you write a poem inspired by the experience.

That is precisely the program initiated by UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. The project, Thresholds, offers an unprecedented series of residencies at the museums of the University of Cambridge as part of the University’s Festival of Ideas. Ten poets have been matched “with museums and collections across the university — home to objects of limitless historic and cultural importance such as Captain Scott’s farewell letter to his wife (The Polar Museum), Isaac Newton’s own copy of Principia Mathematica (Cambridge University Library), and Charles Darwin’s animal specimens collected on the Beagle voyage (Museum of Zoology).”

Until the Poet Laureate calls, you might launch your own project by transforming into poetry the artistic, scientific and historic inspiration you find at a local museum.

Read more about Thresholds.
. . . . .
photo: The Polar Museum

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