Ms. Duffy told the BBC radio program “Woman’s Hour” that she had thought hard about accepting the post and that the decision to take it came “purely because they hadn’t had a woman.”Duffy defines herself as a "poet and mother" and has no interest in being reduced to any other labels that others may use to define her, including lesbian.
Judith Palmer, director of the Poetry Society, said Ms. Duffy had “paved the way for a whole generation of women poets who came after her,” including Deryn Rees-Jones, Jo Shapcott and Alice Oswald.
“The World’s Wife” is full of the rage of women disappointed, discarded or overlooked by men, like the wife of Quasimodo, who falls in love with him despite his deformities, only to have him turn savagely against her for her own physical failings. It has some very funny poems, too, like “Mrs Darwin”:
7 April 1852
Went to the Zoo
I said to him — Something about that chimpanzee over there
reminds me of you