News | Monday, 12th November 2018

Carol Ann Duffy writes new poem for Armistice Day commemorations

'The Wound in Time' was performed to thousands at Remembrance Sunday events across the country

Carol Ann Duffy
Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE has commissioned ten poets for a special Armistice Day collection

Poet Laureate and Creative Director of Manchester Writing School Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE has written a new poem for the centenary of Armistice Day.

The Wound in Time was read aloud on Remembrance Sunday on beaches across the country as thousands of people gathered for the Pages of the Sea public art project.

Portraits of those who lost their lives in battle were drawn into sand and slowly washed away by the tide.

Professor Duffy performed The Wound in Time for the first time on BBC Radio 4 over the weekend. She has also commissioned ten other poets for a special Armistice Day collection, including Helen Mort, Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Wound in Time

It is the wound in Time. The century’s tides,
chanting their bitter psalms, cannot heal it.
Not the war to end all wars; death’s birthing place;
the earth nursing its ticking metal eggs, hatching
new carnage. But how could you know, brave
as belief as you boarded the boats, singing?
The end of God in the poisonous, shrapneled air.
Poetry gargling its own blood. We sense it was love
you gave your world for; the town squares silent,
awaiting their cenotaphs. What happened next?
War. And after that? War. And now? War. War.
History might as well be water, chastising this shore;
for we learn nothing from your endless sacrifice.
Your faces drowning in the pages of the sea.

Carol Ann Duffy, 2018

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