The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

World Wife

Amazon | Goodreads


4/5 Angry Women

What is it about?

This book was a step outside of my comfort zone. The only poetry books I own are by Shel Silverstein and are geared toward little kids.

Each poem in this collection is an imagining of what it would be like to be the wife of a historical or fictional man of importance. What is it like to be married to King Midas? What is it like to be married to Homer? What if you were married to Pilate or the Hunchback of Notre Dame?

Was it good?

I enjoyed this book. I mentioned above that I don’t usually read poetry and my husband will be among the first to tell you that I have no sense of rhythm and my rhyming is sometimes questionable. Yet, I could hear these poems beautifully in my head.

The imagery is very strong, and some of these women are very angry. Some of them are overcome with love. Each wife is unique and fully imagined.

I would recommend this book to people who are interested in history, fiction, women, poetry, or are looking to read a little something different than the usual fantasy/sci-fi mix.

My favorite poems:

  • Queen Herod – This one almost made me cry. It could be because I am pregnant and my emotions sometimes are overwhelming, but this tale of a mother’s love was genius.
  • Eurydice – happily residing in the underworld she is frustrated that Orpheus has come to bring her back to the land of the living. This poem follows her thought process as she tries to convince him that she’s already dead.

Which ones are your favorite? 


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