Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife Reviews

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Summary

''That saying? Behind every famous man . . . ? From Mrs Midas to Queen Kong, from Elvis’s twin sister to Pygmalion’s bride, they’re all here, in Carol Ann Duffy’s inspired and inspirational collection, The World’s Wife. Witty and thought-provoking, this is a tongue-in-cheek, no-holds-barred look at the real movers and shakers across history, myth and legend. If you have ever wondered, for example, how exactly Darwin came up with his theory of evolution, or what, precisely, Frau Freud thought about her husband – then this is the book for you, as the wives of the great, the good, the not so good, and the legendary are given a voice in Carol Ann Duffy’s sparkling and inventive collection.''
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Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

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Latest Reviews

★★☆☆☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“I expected more”

Written on: 21/08/2013 by Takayasu (1 review written)

I enjoy poetry and not just traditional poetry, so am open-minded about the genre it is written in. But, I was disappointed with Carol Ann Duffy's 'The World's Wife'. I thought it interesting how she had selected historical people or fairy tales or Biblical aspects. But, for me what Duffy has then done and how she has used them does not work. This may be controversial as poetry is according to the author - true. But, still to be successful surely the reader has to enjoy it, gain meaning from… Read Full Review

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★★★★★
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“Inspiring”

Written on: 12/07/2013

Studying Duffy's The World's Wife at A Level, I have learnt how phenomenal she is as a poet, not only because her feminism is brave and ruthless but because her truth and grit is empowering. In none of her poems does Duffy shy away from confronting the male gender, but there is no problem with that and it should not be considered sexism. Females are constantly belittled and degraded by men but thanks to Duffy's power and strength, she can liberate women as well as inspiring them. Every student… Read Full Review

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★★★☆☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“Although her sexism towards men annoys me at times i...”

Written on: 24/01/2011

Although her sexism towards men annoys me at times i enjoyed many of the poems Carol Ann Duffy has put together in this book! I LOVED "Mrs Darwin"- very funny and witty!… Read Full Review

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Guest's Comment

Written on: 09/04/2012

She isn't just critical of men, she also belittles women. take 'Mrs Faust' for instance, Duffy doesn't at any point make Mrs faust out to be all sweet and innocent, her path is just as crude as Faust's. They both seek power, they are both selfish, but they do it in different ways. Before you make such a statement, you should analyze the poems, and look at what Duffy is really saying, or you could even look at her interview with Barry wood in 2005.

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★★★★★
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“Hmm Cannot believe how people don't like Pope Joan. In...”

Written on: 16/10/2010

Hmm Cannot believe how people don't like Pope Joan. In fact this is my favourite poem out of the whole collection. Im sure youll have to be a woman to truly love it's significance and it's message.

Isnt it ironic how some men don't like the poem Pope Joan?

But overall any sex can enjoy any of the poems in the great collection. Lets stop being so harsh, she can write poems better than any of us can!

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★☆☆☆☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“Absolutely horrendous. A terrible collection by a...”

Written on: 01/06/2010

Absolutely horrendous. A terrible collection by a terrible poet who makes me angry just looking at the vile book. Though its not fair to suggest it is a complete attack on men, it is safe to say its pretty damn close. Deeper analysis may reveal a mixed view on the sexes but i deeply suggest you don't even bother… Read Full Review

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★★★☆☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“A Review of "The World's Wife" by Carol Anne...”

Written on: 19/05/2010

A Review of "The World's Wife" by Carol Anne Duffy Adderson Hawdon The world's wife is an anthology of poems that subvert the meanings of stories throughout history bringing in female perspectives of male lead stories, or empowering the female protagonists to a much higher status. The anthology is very feminist with all women poems, all of them making choices and breaking away from the male dominant culture to create their own counter culture of strong females in order to break the… Read Full Review

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★★★★☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“I had previously disliked her work, but upon reading...”

Written on: 10/04/2010

I had previously disliked her work, but upon reading these poems I found that I liked her works very much. Some of the poems are a little slow to read, but others are very witty and take an interesting view on men of the world. My favourite poem was Mrs Aesop, a very witty and sexy poem which tells of the famous fable writers wife's view on his work. I recommend this book to anybody who likes her work, poetry and humourous light reading… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“THATS ALL I CAN SAY.. WAYYYYYYYYYYYY TO EXPLICIT FOR...”

Written on: 01/03/2010

THATS ALL I CAN SAY.. WAYYYYYYYYYYYY TO EXPLICIT FOR GCSE/A LEVEL REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLY BIASED TOWARDS MALES !! SPITEFUL WOMAN WITH NOOOOOOOOOOOO TALENT… Read Full Review

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Cates's Comment

Written on: 28/03/2010

that's rediculous, as an A level student I have much enjoyed the work of Carol Ann Duffy, and must comment that she is very talented, and the person that wrote the concerned review must be a male protecting his ego.
<br/>Get over it, she's a good author and voices the thoughts and concerns of the majority women.
<br/>

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Guest's Comment

Written on: 13/05/2012

It takes an open mind to see the ambiguity in her collection. It's not completly biased towards men, and by analysing the collection as a-level students you tend to notice this.

I'm afraid it appears you have a closed frame of mind :)

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★★★★★
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“ Carol Ann Duffy's The World's Wife explores the...”

Written on: 04/08/2009 by Janet Lewison (43 reviews written)

Carol Ann Duffy's The World's Wife explores the finitude and silences of romantic love narratives. The Collection's glittering monologues testify to the pathos and irony of 'enduring' affection, particularly marital affection, which historically and culturally have dispossessed women of their identity and speech. The reader's journey through Duffy's World's Wife is witty, uncomfortable and liberating. And then finally, just when we have become acclimatised to a 'worldly' acceptance of love… Read Full Review

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★★★★☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“The World's Wife by Carol Ann Duffy focuses on...”

Written on: 29/04/2009

The World's Wife by Carol Ann Duffy focuses on important socio-political issues of the 1950's and is engaging, moving and witty. Not many authors would consider giving the important women in a man's life a voice when in fact, they could have been the brains behind the actions! However, are we still living in the 1950's? and should there be some form of masculine/male dominated movement.? After all, there is some sexism towards men… Read Full Review

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★★★★☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“Many have touched upon the concept that Duffy's...”

Written on: 02/04/2009 by leach1991 (1 review written)

Many have touched upon the concept that Duffy's messages are somewhat obvious and condescending in their simplicity- however, this is the pinaccle of the antithesis! I find it refreshing to read poetry freed from pretentious double-sided enigmas and ambiguity, and instead to read a poem for what it is, and to form judgements from a straightforward, non-subjective narrative. Duffy chooses to communicate with her audience instead of attempting to baffle them with mysterious references and hidden… Read Full Review

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☆☆☆☆☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“This book (The World's Wife) is certainly to be...”

Written on: 11/03/2009 by callumbarlow (1 review written)

This book (The World's Wife) is certainly to be avoided. It's constant battle and disparaging terms towards men are not only unpleasent to read, they also border on sexism… Read Full Review

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Cates's Response to 446963_callumbarlow's Review

Written on: 28/03/2010

oh please... women have had to deal with sexism for a LONG time

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Guest's Response to 446963_callumbarlow's Review

Written on: 15/12/2011

Border on sexism? It's not even close. I would agree that yes most of the characters portrayed are exaggerated but they are not grouped, which is what would make it sexist as then it would be saying that all men are like this but these poems are incredible in the way that they seperate men and women to be individual's. Oh and it's not only men that are portrayed as bad, women are also shown as evil, insane AND emotionally belligerent.

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★★★☆☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“I am studying The World#s wife by Carol Ann Duffy for...”

Written on: 26/01/2009 by Sam J Quigley (1 review written)

I am studying The World#s wife by Carol Ann Duffy for A level at the moment and i really like the witty humor and the distasteful "slagging off" of men and I'm male which makes it odd i suppose. People are asking if the is derogatory to men which i reply to as "depends on how insecure you are" it is disrespectful to men in some parts but its disrespect is matched by its humor because i find them rather funny. If you enjoy a light read, as most of the poems are a maximum of 2 pages long, and… Read Full Review

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★★★★☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“Delightful and different, with provocative...”

Written on: 03/10/2008

Delightful and different, with provocative half-rhymes. However, if you are not a fan of poetry, this book would appeal to you equally: the humor and slight distortion of reality and myth alike set in a conversational, colloquial tone render the poetry equivalent to Calvin and hobbes-esque humor. Subtle, yet satisfying. The feminist message is present but never too extreme: instead it focuses on providing perspective, which is often more important than pushing for political and social closure… Read Full Review

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★★★★★
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“'The World's Wife' raises the dead and the silent -...”

Written on: 08/09/2008 by Janet Lewison (43 reviews written)

'The World's Wife' raises the dead and the silent - historical and mythic all female charcters find the words and the voices with which to revise the familiar. These new dramatic monologues give birth to refreshing and at times disturbing versions of 'realities'. Carol Ann Duffy is fascinated by resurrrection in many forms: linguistic, sexual, spiritual.
Oddly enough, these monologues are also love stories. Love may have gone wrong, may have become compromised, but tenderness lingers, even in… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“I would disagree with the reading that many have taken...”

Written on: 20/05/2008

I would disagree with the reading that many have taken from Carol Ann Duffy's work that it is excessive or extremist feminism. Anne Hathaway, for one, stands out from the collection as overwhelmingly positive in its depiction of Shakespeare, even submissive to his authority. Some of the apparently negative views of men presented in poems such as Queen Herod or the domination of the female sex as presented in Salome are condemned by association with their voice as an amoral or deranged character… Read Full Review

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Dutchcourage's Comment

Written on: 21/10/2008

Retaliation is not something to be glorified - when two belligerents attack each other in turn, regardless of the reason or the source or blame, it is called a war. If Duffy truly wants equality and harmony, this is not the way to go about it.

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Guest's Comment

Written on: 15/12/2011

Duffy does not just shows the awful male dominance. In Queen Herod the context needs to be taken in to account as not only was the original story alot mor sexist towards men the new female characterised story shows how women can be just as bad as men by the mother being so psychotic about men. So the message is not a bad one but rather one that could be understood as an improvement on the old one because the men and women are portrayed as both evil and prejudice.

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★★★★☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“I definately enjoyed studying it, despite the strong...”

Written on: 13/04/2008

I definately enjoyed studying it, despite the strong sexist and feminist views… Read Full Review

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☆☆☆☆☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“Ms Duffy appears to live an intellectual bubble the...”

Written on: 06/04/2008 by Dutchcourage (7 reviews written)

Ms Duffy appears to live an intellectual bubble the size of a small cupboard in which the non-existent quintessence of femininity is the single most precious thing in the entire universe; which must at all costs be protected from hedonistic behemoths called "men". The only exceptions to this appear to be William Shakespeare (See the only good poem in the book, Anne Hathaway) and the corporeal incarnation of the almighty (See the typically depressing poem Pilate's Wife) - which literally… Read Full Review

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Bigmoomin's Response to Dutchcourage's Review

Written on: 16/04/2008

Oooooh someone's closed minded. You say nothing about the negative portrayal of women in some of the poems, and how in a few of them the reader can sympathise with the male character. As I see it, The Worlds Wife takes a different view on things that are taken for granted in a patriarchal world. I can see your point that a lot of the poems have feminist views and at first glance it could be taken that Duffy is trying to tell us that some men are scum. In order to read poetry however, you have to be prepared not to take everything at face value, fair enough if your view on these poems happens to be a negative one, we all take things different ways, but doesn't that say something about your own personality. If you are so concerned with men being in a bad light then surely you should disprove your theory in an unaggresive, neutral manner?

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422028_Poetictemptress's Response to Dutchcourage's Review

Written on: 01/12/2008

To the above who believes in the "Duffy bubble".
<br/>Clearly you are not in such a position to be handing out the criticism. Carol Ann Duffy is not the most talented writer and has destroyed the effect of enjambement. However, she has succeeded where few will in effectively portraying a woman's view on the world. Is this so wrong? Or do you, as a clearly practising Neanderthal, believe that men should be the only true heros of this world? In my recent studies of Duffy for a disseration, I have come to the conclusion that yes, they are heavily leant towards strong feministic views, but that there are few poets who manage to capture the feelings of many women in a few lines. Take "Pilate's Wife" for example, a personal favourite of mine. Does she not sympathise with all bored housewives who dream of, but never act upon, desires for a better life? You suggest that she is offensive to Chritianity. Why should she tread on egg shells for a religion she dismissed as a teenager? Are we not all allowed to form our own opinions upon such matters? I personally feel she is sympathetic towards the Nazarene as she admires him not because he is an apparant holy man, but because of his charisma, his ability to hold a room and for his experiences in life.

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413121_Rachreadswilliam Blake's Response to Dutchcourage's Review

Written on: 27/10/2008

Evidentally Duffy isn't the only one who rants about closed topics!

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Dutchcourage's Response to Dutchcourage's Review

Written on: 11/05/2008

A potentially valid point; however my case is simply this; Duffy is hugely overcompensating for a subjugation that ended two generations ago; spreading forth the message that it's okay to kill and humiliate because of some long dead grievance. The "negative" portrayals of women in WW do indeed include murderers and sociopaths - but they are always shown as victims of male corruption. A woman's lust is shown as totally natural while a man's is shown as moral rot. Perhaps Duffy would have been a force for good in the fifties; but is now ranting about a closed topic. Sexism, just like all forms of discrimination in the west, can now only be found in a small number of universally hated people. Terms like "patriarchal world" completely obsolete - In this day and age there are FAR bigger problems in the world than men not realizing that they are scum. Also, in response to your claim that I am narrow minded - I put it to you that my objection to the book is that it promotes tribalism, huddling into little groups and refusing to mingle with outsiders. Humanity outgrew narrow-mindedness of that sort in the renaissance; an achievement that seems all too keen on undoing.

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☆☆☆☆☆
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife is awful. Like an...”

Written on: 29/03/2008

Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife is awful. Like an apple that has sat, ugly and squat, in the fruit bowl since last july, Carol's poetry will leave a disgraceful taste in your mouth. Not only this, much like the withered fruit in the analogy, the poetry seems to attract stunted, blood-sucking weevils… Read Full Review

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Jienii's Comment

Written on: 27/06/2009

I think too many people are reading too much into the feminist views, for one feminism isn't just about hating men. Maybe, just maybe, Duffy is offering an alternative view on famous male figures in legends and reality alike, and is cleverly rewriting mythology in a modern context at the same time. Most of the poems are very tongue-in-cheek. Also, I think men are being offended by the way that the males are portrayed as being weak and useless, when throughout our lives women have been talked about in that way. The male stereotypes are more to be laughed at. Also, people are just looking at the male stereotypes, the women in the poems are being just as stereotyped. In Mrs Midas for example, the woman is clearly being shown as bitter and angry towards her husband, and throughout only seems to be thinking of herself and not really offering her husband much in the way of pity.
<br/>Just try to look at the poems putting feminism aside, and actually look at how cleverly they've been writen.

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★★★★★
Carol Ann Duffy, The World's Wife

“The Worlds Wife poems are inventive, complexed and...”

Written on: 16/03/2008 by gibbonjake7 (1 review written)

The Worlds Wife poems are inventive, complexed and overall expressing of the females to the strong males powers in history and myths, I love reading them and they create visual images in ones mind… Read Full Review

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