Loves Many Layers

Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

More Poems by Carol Ann Duffy at Famous Poets and Poems

Thanks to Classic Poetry Aloud for this tidbit:

"It may be, though, that the time has come for a woman Poet Laureate in Britain. The post has recently become vacant, following the end of Andrew Motion's ten year tenure. Wendy Cope remains among the favourites to be appointed, despite the fact that she has said she doesn't want the job (see here for more) and despite the prestige of the post and the associated £100 and butt of sack (a sort of sherry) given annually to the holder. (For a Classic Poetry Aloud reading of one of Wendy Cope's poems, please see Occasional Miscellany #4.) With Cope out of the race, Carol Ann Duffy is now in the frame, so we may get our female laureate yet."

On a personal note from ndpthepoetress: In re to the The Royal Society of Literature Review comment by Poet Wendy Cope: “Although there is no requirement on the part of the Palace or Whitehall that the Laureate write anything at all, the press and the public expect it and the only way to get rid of that expectation is to abolish the post." I say, to abolish the post would be to put an end to poetry itself. Let poetry live through the press and public. How dare you Wendy Cope try to stifle such a passion that has flourished for centuries throughout the veins of many a heart. If you ‘can not’ do the job Wendy Cope, just say so and let more worthy Poets like Carol Ann Duffy represent what Poetry is truly all about.

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