PrayerSome days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.
Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.
Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy is a Scottish-Irish poet, born on 23rd December 1955 in Gorbals, Glasgow. The family moved to England when Duffy was six years old. She attended Saint Austin’s RC Primary School, went on to Joseph’s Convent School and then Stafford Girl’s High School. Her writing talent was recognized by some of her teachers. She was a keen reader and writer of poems from an early age. At age 15 one of her teachers, June Scriven sent Duffy’s poems to a publisher, who was impressed by them and thus published them. She started a relationship with the poet Adrian Henri, living with him till 1982. To be closer to him, Duffy enrolled in the University of Liverpool. During this time she wrote two plays and a pamphlet named ‘Fifth Last Song’. She received her degree in philosophy in 1977.
She has won many other awards and honors such as ‘Costa Poetry Award’ (2011), ‘Signal Poetry Award’ (1997), ‘CBE’ (2001), ‘Cholmondeley Award’ (1992), ‘Dylan Thomas Award’ (1989), ‘Eric Gregory Award’ (1984) and the ‘C. Day Lewis Fellowship’ in 1982. Duffy also received doctorate degree from the University of Hull, University of Dundee, University of St. Andrews, University of Warwick including a Fellowship from Homerton College, Cambridge.