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Carol Ann Duffy and Confidential’s in-house poet go head to head

Here’s Carol Ann Duffy’s first verse as Poet Laureate: Ronald McRhyme, our office versifier, takes her on

Published on June 15th 2009.

Carol Ann Duffy and Confidential’s in-house poet go head to head

Manchester based poet Carol Ann Duffy was recently made the first female Poet Laureate in the position’s 341 year history.

On Saturday she published her first effort in the (Manchester) Guardian. It’s marvellous.

Unlike Andrew Motion, the previous Laureate, who started off with a sickly verse about some Royal fandango, Duffy’s gone for a hard visceral attack on how politics twists honest intentions, how MPs take the electorate’s dreams and turn them into nice little earners.

This is the poem.

And then it’s followed by one from the Manchester Confidential Poet Laureate Ronald McRhyme.

Politics by Carol Ann Duffy

How it makes of your face a stone that aches to weep, of your heart a fist, clenched or thumping, sweating blood, of your tongue an iron latch with no door.

How it makes of your right hand a gauntlet, a glove-puppet of the left, of your laugh a dry leaf blowing in the wind, of your desert island discs hiss hiss hiss, makes of the words on your lips dice that can throw no six.

How it takes the breath away, the piss, makes of your kiss a dropped pound coin, makes of your promises latin, gibberish, feedback, static, of your hair a wig, of your gait a plankwalk.

How it says this – politics – to your education education education; shouts this – Politics! – to your health and wealth; how it roars, to your conscience moral compass truth, POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS

It’s a little known fact that we have our own company poet in the office: Ronald McRhyme. Ron is charged with coming up with appropriate verse on specific occasions. His salary is an honorary £600 a year but he bumps that up with expenses such as £5 for a set of pencils, £15 for a Thesaurus, £475 for internet porn subscriptions and £43,000 for second poem allowance.

Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate

This is his poem on politics:

There was a short lady called Blears,
Who reduced the Prime Minister to tears.
Opened her gob,
Lost her job,
Let’s hope she’s unemployed for years.

He didn’t give it a title because he couldn’t be bothered.

We've told Ron not to give up his day job. "But this is my day job," he whinged, "I'm an artist."

Ronald McRhyme, the Confidential in-house poet, ponders a rhyme for 'pint'

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18 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

CasJune 15th 2009.

yes utterly, see you're not anon anymore! I am obviously opinionated and come on here and 'rant' about stuff, rather than other people. You see I give my opinion and you come on and have a go so I defend myself. Nowt wrong with that Bordeo.

CastlefieldJune 15th 2009.

I don't care what you say, you know it's good.

BoredofthecliqueJune 15th 2009.

Why is it that the most prolific ranter on here cannot seem to take any critism or difference of opinion when, on a regular basis, he/she is downright bloody rude to other ranters. You really are utterly charming aren't you?

Greg GJune 15th 2009.

Very good ha ha. But also I agree with the opening paragraphs. It's so good to see Duffy taking this role seriously.

mancunian meandererJune 15th 2009.

Gorton GirlsKnow All The WordsTo Songs By Chaka Kahn

east lancsJune 15th 2009.

Cas, that was ****.

CastlefieldJune 15th 2009.

Oh piss off anon, understand the tongue in cheek and stop following me around ManCon like a puppy dog.

AnonymousJune 15th 2009.

Don't give up your day job ranting on man con

CastlefieldJune 15th 2009.

There was a Prime Minister called BrownWho dragged the whole country downWe’re not quite sure what we gotFor which he borrowed a lotBut he won’t let go of his crown

Wanton WordsworthJune 15th 2009.

Mr Purnell, created hell and a rancid smell, when he couldn't wish Mr Brown well. Oh...I can't be bothered. I fancy your poet though, but if he wanted to sleep with me he'd have to quit smoking.

CastlefieldJune 15th 2009.

I pressed 'enter' and thought I'd get seperate lines but didn't!

CasJune 15th 2009.

Anything else or do you feel better now Bordeo?

BoredofthecliqueJune 15th 2009.

I am not 'anon' BTW - there's obviously more than one member of your fan club

AnonymousJune 15th 2009.


Gloria1504June 15th 2009.

Is the poet laureate allowed to say piss.......I'm shocked....... ;o)

emma graceJune 15th 2009.

A comma or two wouldn't have gone amiss ;)

AnonymousJune 15th 2009.

UnelectHow the stone that seems a facecries and beats its feeton the tongue’s floor,a painted latch to a private door.Yours were the only hands allowedup the arse of the printed page.Ruth gleaning on the BBC Solitudes a die thrown for an unseemly gown.The breath-paws promises renown.Yours was the only kiss for cash.The soul writes on private language, makes a lie of your lay, a liturgy of permits. A rape of the bar, a Carribean Caricatwalk .How it says this – to your rhetoric, rhetoric, rhetoricto your heeled and mealed, how it whines without consciouskicking the downed, dialling the ready-fingered,poetry, poetry, poetry.

AnonymousJune 15th 2009.

several...maybe it's all the people you're abusive to? Maybe....Or maybe everyone else is wrong and you're right, not sure

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