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During this year studying English Literature and Creative Writing, I’ve developed a new appreciation for poetry. With this in mind, I thought that I’d start a new weekly feature on So Many Books, So Little Time in which I share with you my favourite poems. They may be ones I discover on my course or ones I’ve loved for a long time.
Hopefully some of you will join me in sharing some awesome poems.
Havisham – Carol Ann Duffy (1998)
Beloved sweetheart bastard. Not a day since then
I haven’t wished him dead. Prayed for it
so hard I’ve dark green pebbles for eyes,
ropes on the back of my hands I could strangle with.
Spinster. I stink and remember. Whole days
in bed cawing Nooooo at the wall; the dress
yellowing, trembling if I open the wardrobe;
the slewed mirror, full-length, her, myself, who did this
to me? Puce curses that are sounds not words.
Some nights better, the lost body over me,
my fluent tongue in its mouth in its ear
then down till I suddenly bite awake. Love’s
hate behind a white veil; a red balloon bursting
in my face. Bang. I stabbed at a wedding-cake.
Give me a male corpse for a long slow honeymoon.
Don’t think it’s only the heart that b-b-b-breaks.
This poem was in the same GCSE anthology as Love After Love and was one that stuck with me. I read Great Expectations two years later at AS and hated all of it bar the scenes with Miss Havisham. I think my love of her character may have begun here...