Carol Ann Duffy and the piracy of passionate love?
Submitted by Janet Lewison on 04 October 2011
‘Black Marigolds’ translated from Sanskrit by E Powys Mathews: A favourite Love poem of Carol Ann Duffy. Even now If my girl with lotus eyes came to me again Weary with the dear weight of young love, Again I would give her to these starved twins of arms And from her mouth drink down the heavy wine, As a reeling pirate bee in fluttered ease Steals up the honey from the nenuphar. As the soon to be executed lover recollects the love affair that has condemned him, this poem celebrates his lack of regret. Love has not become bitter,it has not diminished into the cowardice of regret, rather it quenches and feeds the ‘starved twins of arms’ in a arresting language that is palpably erotic- a language luxuriating in sensory richness and infinite joy. This is Swinburne without the murky self pleasuring love. Who would not wish to be a ‘pirate bee’ upon reading this, and steal ‘honey from the nenuphar’? As I type this blog I do not even know what a ‘nenuphar’ is or where I should find one, but the poet makes such a quest eminently desirable! An imperative! Carol Ann Duffy cited this poem as one of her favourite love poems. A truly marvellous choice! I also feel a tantalising thread of inspiration and affection here for the piracy of poetry and of passionate love? Pirate bees and honey- I wonder?