When Adomnan laid down his law, calling together

the princes and the warriors, that the deaths

of civilians, women and children, non-combatants

should be paid for in blood money, wergild

(compensation our half-hearted word) the law

of the innocent in that seventh century we dub

the Dark Ages, he appointed guardians

overseers to make it stick. So when my aunt

my mother’s sister was killed by a stray Nazi

bomb she’d have had a hide of land, a couple

of goats, her weight in gold, by rights, in those

barbarous times. And the thousands now in our

civilised century brought out from rubbished homes

laid in mute rows like bundles of old carpet

some longer, some childishly small, what should

their price be, beyond the dreams of avarice?

Only these bitter fruit, enough to make a saint weep.


Copyright Maureen Duffy 2010

From Environmental Studies (London: Enitharmon, 2013)

Lyrics for the Dog Hour (poems) (1968)

New Short Plays: No. 2 (1969)

Venus Touch (poems) (1971)


Evesong (poems) (1975)


Memorials of the Quick and the Dead (poems) (1979)

Collected Poems, 1949-84 (poems) (1985)

Pool: New Fiction from Liverpool John Moores University (2001)

Family Values

Family Values (Enitharmon, 2008)

'These are tough poems, full of love and harm, good and damage, rage and compassion.'
David Constantine.

Environmental Studies (Enitharmon, 2013)

  Cover of Environmental Studies - poetry collection, published in 2013 by Enitharmon


Pictures from an Exhibition (Enitharmon, 2016)


Cover - Pictures From an Exhibition - poetry collection published by Enitharmon Press in 2016

'She presses on like a medieval troubadour across barriers of genre, gender, space and time.' TLS

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