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Paperback The World's Wife: Poems Book

ISBN: 057119995X

ISBN13: 9780571199952

The World's Wife: Poems

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good*

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Book Overview

Be terrified. It's you I love, perfect man, Greek God, my own; but I know you'll go, betray me, stray from home. So better by far for me if you were stone. --from "Medusa" Stunningly original and haunting, the voices of Mrs. Midas, Queen Kong, and Frau Freud, to say nothing of the Devil's Wife herself, startle us with their wit, imagination, and incisiveness in this collection of poems written from the perspectives of the wives, sisters, or girlfris...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Deep and original!

In "The World's Wife," Duffy takes up her themes from myths, fables, the bible, popular culture, literature and history. I find it very original that Duffy gives a voice to unheard women such as "Pilate's Wife," "Mrs. Darwin, " "Mrs. Sisyphus" and "Anne Hathaway." The more modern ones are "Mrs. Faust" and "Queen Kong". These women's voices reveal their personal struggles which are sometimes universal ones. Joyce Akesson, author of Love's Thrilling Dimensions

New voices

In "The World's Wife," Duffy deftly reworks tales from myths, fables, the bible, popular culture, literature and history. Some popular stories are reexamined through the eyes of a female witness, as with "Pilate's Wife," "Mrs. Darwin, " "Mrs. Sisyphus" and "Anne Hathaway." Others are modernized; In "Mrs. Faust," Faust and his wife are a pair of yuppies collecting degrees, computers and cell phones. A few stories, like "Queen Kong", are reimagined with a female protagonist replacing the male. The poetry is as diverse as the personae, with voices ranging from lingering, dreamy and dramatic to hard, clipped and succinct. The World's Wife lets previously unheard women speak. Their voices are not always what readers expect from a lyric speaker, for how often is deep emotion examined through rhyming slang for tits, or the nicknames for a penis? Yet when Duffy calls a modern wife frustrated by her husband's discovery of Viagra "Mrs. Rip Van Winkle," or a contemporary-voiced woman whose husband works mindlessly and ceaselessly "Mrs. Sisyphus," Duffy reveals that their personal struggles are not theirs alone. Their troubles have resonance, and echo through history, literature and myth---even though in the past it may have been left unspoken.


Ms. Duffy has written some of the most powerful poems I have read (my favourite being "Education for Leisure") and "The World's Wife" certainly keeps up with these. "The Devil's Wife," based on Myra Hindley, was brilliant and showed evil in a most pure form, and the passionate Queen Herod showed how much a woman would do for her child. A monumental book and by far the best poetry in recent years.

hilariously funny

This book of poems was given to me by a friend and now lives on my desk at all times. Each poem is an absolute gem, sparkling with humour. I loved every one of them. They are all so different in tone, from the outrageously funny 'Mrs Icarus' to the achingly poignant 'Queen Herod'. As a woman who lives and works in an all-male environment, i would whole-heartedly say, this is an absolute must-buy.

Read this! Give it to your friends!

These poems are so good, witty, smart, it might even turn me on to reading poetry again. But where can I find poems as intelligent and deep and amusing as these? I keep re-reading them for the joy of it. I had never heard of Ms. Duffy, but my sister sent me the book from England. I need more!
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