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Carol Ann Duffy's festive offering 'lacks cheer'

9th December 2009

Carol Ann Duffy's Christmas poem fails to offer 'one uplifting glimmer of hope' for the new year, according to one commentator.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Judith Woods noted that the Poet Laureate's seasonal work 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' concentrates on bleak subjects such as climate change, corrupt politicians, the war in Afghanistan and the poor condition of modern society.

'It's an uncompromising work, which was presumably intended to be brave, but in fact is merely staggeringly joyless,' Woods commented.

She claimed that poetry should elevate and enhance the real world but avoid being a 'laundry list of misery and woe' - something which Duffy's latest effort fails to achieve.

Woods also suggested that the 53-year-old's position as Poet Laureate could be compromising her ability to craft visionary works, after predecessor Sir Andrew Motion said that the role affected his ability to write as he used to.

Commenting on 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' in The Times, Maurice Chittenden said that Duffy's work is more 'politically pointed' than any other Poet Laureate's, especially when it comes to writing about war.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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