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Your LIFE: POETRY CORNER - THE HABIT OF LIGHT; With Carol Ann Duffy ONE of Britain's most successful living female poets, selects a poem for women and discusses its meaning...

Byline: BY GILLIAN CLARKE

In the early evening, she liked to switch on the lamps in corners, on low tables, to show off her brass, her polished furniture, her silver and glass. At dawn she'd draw all the curtains back for a glimpse of the cloud-lit sea, her oak floors flickered in an opulence of beeswax and light.

In the kitchen, saucepans danced their lids, the kettle purred on the Aga, supper on its breath and the buttery melt of a pie, and beyond the swimming glass of old windows, in the deep perspective of the garden, a blackbird singing, she'd come through the bean rows in tottering shoes, her pinny full of strawberries, a lettuce, bringing the palest potatoes in a colander, her red hair bright with her habit of colour, her habit of light.

CAROL ANN SAYS: This beautiful poem by the contemporary Welsh poet Gillian Clarke celebrates the poet's dead mother. In 14 lines, an informal sonnet, Clarke lovingly details the woman's life in moments of remembered light - even down to the 'palest potatoes'. Any GCSE teenager in your family will be studying Gillian's work - find out more about her at www.sheerpoetry.co.uk.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 5, 2007
Words:198
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