Knife poem ban. What next? 2

The Guardian follows up on this story reports with a Sun-like attention-grabbing, but hardly truthful, headline.
Poets Rhyming Riposte leaves Mrs Scofield ‘gobsmacked’
The Mrs Schofield in question is Mrs Pat Schofield, an external examiner at Lutterworth College, Leicestershire, who was one of the people complained to exam board AQA about Carol Ann Duffy’s poem being on its GCSE curriculum because it glorified knife crime.
 Mrs Scofield, who according to The Guardian, welcomed the decision to ban a poem she described as “absolutely horrendous”, would be expected to be “gobsmacked” at the thought of an high-profile poet taking time out giving her a bit of a dressing down. I don’t think she is. 

 Contacted by the Guardian last night, Schofield said she felt “a bit gobsmacked” to have a verse named after her. She described the poem as “a bit weird. But having read her other poems I found they were all a little bit weird. But that’s me”
Mrs Schofield’s GCSE                                      

 The poem Carol Ann Duffy penned in response to her work being removed from a GCSE curriculum

  • Carol Ann Duffy
  • The Guardian,
  • Saturday September 6 2008
  • Article history

You must prepare your bosom for his knife,

said Portia to Antonio in which

of Shakespeare’s Comedies? Who killed his wife,

insane with jealousy? And which Scots witch

knew Something wicked this way comes? Who said

Is this a dagger which I see? Which Tragedy?

Whose blade was drawn which led to Tybalt’s death?

To whom did dying Caesar say Et tu? And why?

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark – do you

know what this means? Explain how poetry

pursues the human like the smitten moon

above the weeping, laughing earth; how we

make prayers of it. Nothing will come of nothing:

speak again. Said by which King? You may begin

On a personal note, I always like to think that we Duffys –I’m a Duffy on my mother’s side, although not, as far as I know, related to the poet – are capable of a measured response to every cricis, and I like to think that Carol Ann in her response is upholding a fine family rradition.


06 Sept 18:55

Carol Ann Duffy’s poem, Education for Leisure, as it appeared in The AQA Anthology for English and English Literature at G.C.S.E .





%d bloggers like this: