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Carol Ann Duffy is considered by many people to be the freshest and most original English poet writing today. She is known for her ventriloquist's ability to adopt voice and characters, which are often far from the mainstream of society.
These poems where she writes in the voice of a character she has made upare called 'dramatic monologues'.
Carol Ann Duffy also refuses to be conventional; her poems are deeply felt and often reject ordinary, everyday ideas. Thus in 'Valentine', instead of giving her lover a rose or some other cliched symbol of affection, Duffy, or at least the character in the poem, gives an onion!
In these five poems we see Duffy moving between the public and the private;from imagining the thoughts of a young thief, in Stealing, to remembering her childhood and the feelings of growing up, in 'In Mrs Tilcher's Class'. From writing a kind of love poem to her mother, and another love poem to her lover, to writing a powerful and passionate poem about suffering and our relation to it, War Photographer.
After Ted Hughes' death in 1998 many people felt that Duffy should have been asked to become the first female Laureate in history. However the relevant authorities went for a "safer bet".