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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

In the name of love, Carol Ann Duffy desecrates a dying anti fascist

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Carol Ann Duffy - Establishment Poet of Choice

In the run up today’s Valentine Day, the Guardian’s Book Club published a promo for Carol Ann Duffy’s new collection of “Love Poems”. Here she tells us that - the “love poem has formed a considerable part of my own work, like that of any number of poets before me”.

The article can be read here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/feb/08/carol-ann-duffy-book-club


It should be stated that Carol Ann Duffy is an outstanding poet, with a range that I could only dream of. But in her otherwise brilliant poetry collection Bees, she wrote a poem that made me fall out of love with her. For never mind the fact that the picture below of the dying anti fascist in the Spanish Civil War was probably a “set up”. The fact remains that this type of harrowing scene was being played out every day as General Franco's juggernaut overwhelmed progressive forces in Spain. The reality, if not this image, was all too real and the picture therefore became a poignant reminder for all anti fascists of the final price so many have paid in the fight against the cultural darkness that is fascism.

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Robert Capa's iconic anti fascist picture - "The Falling Soldier", 1936

So how can Carol Ann Duffy turn this image into a joke as she does in her poem "The Falling Soldier"? What brings her to lampoon the proud idea that informs the picture and go for cheap laughs instead? Who is that she is trying to entertain?

A flop back for a kip in the sun,
dropping the gun,
or a trip on the stone to send you
arse over tip


We are all supposed to see the funny side right? But there is no grace or love in this poem, just a working class women from Glasgow (and obviously of Irish heritage) betraying her class for a laugh and a guffaw from the establishment that hands the gongs out. The establishment that likes nothing better than to hand out “officer” status in the Order Of The British Empire to Scottish Irish poets and pat them on the head, No I say lets make her a Commander of the Empire – one more potential rebel safely boxed and patronized. And then watch this brilliant poet twist the knife in anti fascist hearts.

... The shadow you shed
As you fall
is, brother, your soul.
They wrap you up in the flag though,
blow a tune on a bugle before they lower you
into the hole


The truth is that there is only person who goes into a hole with this desecration of a poem and that is Carole Ann Duffy OBE, CBE and this is a cheap and mean poem. Where did the love go?

What’s the point of all that brilliance
if you are going to turn on your own people?
Glasgow’s anti fascist tradition is a proud one.
have you forgotten where you came from?

Have you forgotten the meaning of love?


Love poetry, love Danny Boyle, a Manchester lad who remembered his people.

One Love



@Paul Larkin
Carraic, Gaoth Dobhair
Mí Feabhra 2012
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Title: In the name of love, Carol Ann Duffy desecrates a dying anti fascist
Date posted: 14 Feb '13 - 16:24
Filed under: General
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