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Carol Ann Duffy: Feminine Gospels

11. Sub

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About this Lecture


In this module, we explore the tenth poem in the collection, ‘Sub’, a poem in which the speaker fantasises about playing the hero in various historic situations – a hat-trick in the World Cup final, the winning try in “the final gasps of the Grand Slam clincher, standing in for Ringo in the Beatles, etc. In particular, we think about: (i) the stubborn gendering of each situation – e.g. the fact that the speaker must “[skip] the team bath with the lads” because its her “time of the month”, batting in the final Test while “five months gone”, etc.; (ii) the importance of the colon at the end of the poem.


In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Carol Ann Duffy’s 2002 collection, ‘Feminine Gospels’. After an introductory module in which we think about the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy in general and the collection as a whole – and especially the implications of its title – the course continues with a reading and analysis of each of the twenty-one poems in the collection, one by one.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2019, December 06). Carol Ann Duffy: Feminine Gospels - Sub [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Carol Ann Duffy: Feminine Gospels – Sub." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 06 Dec 2019,