Premonitions By Carol Ann Duffy
Mourning makes us retrace our encounters with others. We go back searching for signs, nurturing those moments of intimacy, tryng to notice light. This poem celebrates the life lived and still living, the love loved, and still loving.And even though Duffy now declares herself an atheist, there is a healing and a transcendence here which suggest our ability to love overwhelms even the banal paraphenalia and mechanics of death. There are 'returns' here and these returns of memory and emotion are as resurrecting as any tales from Galilee. The holding of hands, the grace of contact and the 'dancey' ' lemony' uniqueness of a relationship unfinished and unfinished with.
When this miraculous poem was published in the Guardian to coinicide with Duffy's appointment as Poet Laureate I made a promise to myself that I would write about this poem in the light of my feeling about all Duffy's most powerful poetry- that it is about Resurrection and that Carol Ann Duffy explores resurrection again and again in her poetry. Demeter, Mrs Lazarus and Ann Hathaway all resurrect and reanimate relationships.They all strive to find an enduring language for persistent, immortal love. They acknowledge the glaring power of memory and the tenderness ( and ambivalence) of recollection. So at some point I will begin a piece on Duffy and Resurrection using Larkin's 'The Explosion' which remains for me one of his most profoundly moving poems and David Copperfield's relationship with his mother and Steerforth. This is the power of summer leisure and the liberating experience of having time to think again!! Watch this space and Carol Ann Duffy's Sheer Poetry site for the new writing!