Laureate pens a new 12 days of Christmas
Sunday 06 December 2009
If you're looking for a cosy Christmas poem about maids a-milking, then turn the page now. Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, has instead come up with a brand new poem, based on "The Twelve Days of Christmas" but packed with trenchant reminders that there is still plenty to be concerned about even if it is the season of goodwill.
The poem has been commissioned for the Christmas edition of the Radio Times, published today. An exclusive extract is printed here – a verse about loss and separation because of Afghanistan.
The "wonderful, funny and trenchant poem" – according to Radio Times editor Ben Preston – looks at, among other things, Afghanistan, climate change, greedy bankers, politicians' expenses and floods.
Mr Preston said: "Our Christmas edition sells 2.4 million copies, and we thought it would be a great platform for the Poet Laureate."
Duffy, inset, the first female laureate, was appointed to the post in May. "If we think about what's up ahead, with climate change and wars over water, it's very frightening," she said earlier this year.
On the first day of Christmas,
a buzzard on a branch.
no partridge, pear tree;
but my true love sent to me
a card from home.
I sat alone,
crouched in yellow dust,
and traced the grins of my kids
with my thumb.
Somewhere down the line,
for another father, husband,
brother, son, a bullet
with his name on.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer sees Katniss lead rebellion against the Capitol
The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace