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.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 4 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 5 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >