How thrilling to hear that Carol Ann Duffy is the new Poet Laureate. Her collection of poems, ‘Rapture’, documenting a year long love affair – 52 poems – is sublime.

I liked very much her description of becoming a mother:  It was like being in a house, and suddenly finding a room that you didn’t know was there, filled with treasure.

 Duffy is passionate about education and the importance of teaching poetry in schools: listening to a poem at an impressionable age can permanently transform the contour of a child’s imagination – as she freely acknowledges it did for her.

 In one interview Duffy talks further about poetry in schools: Last summer an invigilator peeped over a GCSE candidate’s shoulder and read my poem, ‘Education for Leisure’, which contained the lines:

Today I am going to kill something. Anything.

I have had enough of being ignored and today

I am going to play God.

And because she didn’t understand it, and took it literally, she complained to the examining body. Duffy responded by writing a poem, ‘Mrs Schofield’s GCSE’, about the numerous stabbings in Shakespeare.

I also love her collection ‘The World’s Wife’. Here’s Mrs Darwin:

7 April 1852.

Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him-
Something about that Chimpanzee over there
reminds me of you

And how sad that this should have been announced just as we learnt of the death of another great poet. U.A. Fanthorpe. on whom Duffy had placed an unsuccessful bet to become Laureate a decade ago.