Carol Ann Duffy's Salome

Seminar Paper, 2004

13 Pages, Grade: 2+



1 Introduction

2 Carol A. Duffy’s Biography

3 Biblical interpretation

4 Modern interpretation

5 Conclusion


1 Introduction

“Salome” is a poem written by Carol Ann Duffy and can be found in the compilation of The World’s Wife written in 1999. It is a thematic book, where each poem is the voice of an hypothetical wife of a great man of history or mythology. The poem Salome consists of four stanzas. The first stanza has 14 lines; the second and third stanza have nine lines, and the last one has four lines. The register of the poem is intimate and addressed to a large number of readers. In terms of style, we will find in this poem black humour especially because of the smash of rhymes, as for instant: “lighter, laughter, flatter, pewter, Peter.”

The poems’ persona is called Salome who we find immediately in the title. A hasty and knowledgeable reader will easily connect the character of this poem with a historical and biblical woman named Salome. The myth of a dancer (Salome) has been told in various different ways. It (the poem) became known in different adaptations as in literature, television, cinema and theatre. The history of the biblical Salome is very well known among the religious, but it seems to me important to refer briefly about it on the next page.

In the following paper I will first of all, talk about the author Carol Ann Duffy as a person and a writer, because the education that she received could be an interesting clue to her poem “Salome”. Then, I will proceed with an interpretation or analysis of this poem Salome in a historical way, but also in a modern way. I mean, I will always connect this poem with the real, biblical, story. That is because, in my opinion, the persona can simultaneously be a modern fictional woman from nowadays, or the historical (but also fictional) woman. In other words, in my point of view, the poem relies on double meanings, therefore two different interpretations.

2 Carol A. Duffy’s’ Biography

Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow (Scotland) on 23 December 1955. She and her four brothers were raised up in Stafford (in the Northmiddlands) where her father was a local councillor, a parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party in 1983 and manager of Stafford FC (a soccer team). Carol A. Duffy went to St. Austin Roman Catholic Primary School, St. Joseph’s Convent School, Stafford Girls’ High School and in 1974 she went to Liverpool University.

She started to work as a freelancer writer in London and became an editor of a poetry magazine named Ambit, where she is still working as a reviewer and broadcaster. Then, in 1996, she moved to Manchester where she is until now lecturing creative writing at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Her first poetry collection was Standing Female Nude (1985), followed by many other works, as for example, Selling Manhattan (1987), The Other Country (1990), Mean Time (1993), The World’s Wife (1999), The Feminine Gospels (2002), The Good Child´s Guide to Rock N Roll (2003) and Out of Fashion (2004). She (Carol A. Duffy) also won some important prizes and awards in the literary world, such as, the National Poetry Competition in 1983 with Whoever She Was, the Peterloo Poets ‘Poem About Painting’ Competition in 1986 with The Virgin, the Dylan Thomas Award in 1989, the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) in 1993 with Mean Time, the OBE (Order of British Empire, it is a greater honour than MBE, which is also an award for the Literary Contemporary Writers) in 1995, becoming in 1999 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2001 she received the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire, which is a distinguished honour).

This writer has been called by several writers and poets, (such as the English poet Sean O’Brien) as ‘the representative poet of our time’. Her style is distinctive and has been greatly copied. But, her own opinion about her writing is:

“I’m not interested, as a poet, in words like ‘plash’ – Seamus Heaney words, interesting words. I like to use simple words but in a complicated way.” (AQA Anthology)

Remarkably, she is not only congratulated for her work as a poet, but also for her performance as playwright. For example, some of her plays have been performed at the Liverpool playhouse and also at Almeida Theatre in London. Among her plays we find: Take My Husband (1982), Cavern of Dreams (1984) and Loss (a radio play written in 1986).

Her only daughter was born in 1995. Nowadays, Carol lives, in Manchester, with her partner – the novelist Jackie Kay.


Excerpt out of 13 pages


Carol Ann Duffy's Salome
University of Wuppertal
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
529 KB
Carol, Duffy, Salome
Quote paper
Isabel Dionisio (Author), 2004, Carol Ann Duffy's Salome, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Carol Ann Duffy's Salome

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free