Writing on Women Writers

A site for college students to write about women writers.

Carol Ann Duffy and the Aesop’s

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“Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow, Scotland and raised in Staffordshire” (333). She wrote a poem that we read in class called Mrs. Aesop. In the poem she satirizes the life of Mrs. Aesop. She was so annoyed with her husband always telling fables that she begins to degrade him in the poem. It was a very funny poem and relates to other women who have been recreated by poems that we have read in class.

Aesop was an ancient Greek storyteller who lived around 550 BCE. He was a slave who lived in ancient Rome in the home of a wealthy family. Supposedly Aesop’s master was so pleased by his stories that he granted Aesop his freedom. “Little is known about the ancient Greek writer Aesop (c. 620 B.C.E.–c. 560 B.C.E.), whose stories of clever animals and foolish humans are considered Western civilization’s first morality tales. He was said to have been a slave who earned his freedom through his storytelling and went on to serve as advisor to a king. Both his name and the animist tone of his tales have led some scholars to believe he may have been Ethiopian in origin.”

It is interesting to me the way that she recreates Mrs. Aesop. When I read this poem I laughed and I thought that it was very clever. I love the modern way that Carol Ann Duffy writes. “Mrs. Aesop… loses all patience with her husbands witless clichés” (334). In the poem she mentions some of his famous fables including The Fox and the Grapes. She says “What race? What sour Grapes” (336). This line in the poem refers to The Fox and the Grapes and The Tortoise and the Hare; two very famous fables.


The Fox and the Grapes

One hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”

Moral: It is easy to despise what you cannot get. (from: AesopFables.com)

I have included a very funny video that tells this story in a modern cartoon.

WORK CITED:

Aesop. “AesopFables.com – – General Fable Collection.” AesopFables.com – – General Fable Collection. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2013.

“Aesop.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. 8 May. 2013 .

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