Carol Ann Duffy writes new poem for TUC 150th anniversary

By agency reporter
September 9, 2018

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has published a new poem from the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy to mark its 150th anniversary.

The poem, which celebrates the various contributions trade union members make to society, is made public as the TUC’s holds its annual congress in Manchester on 9- 12 September 2018.

Speaking in a short film about the commission, Carol Ann Duffy said: “My grandfather and father both worked for the TUC. The trade union movement is part of my DNA. The text celebrates different ways of working with hands. I hope that people who look at it will find an imprint of their own hand, their own contribution, their own work.”

The text is part of an installation developed with Manchester-based artist Stephen Raw.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We are delighted that Carol-Ann Duffy is helping us mark our 150th anniversary in Manchester, the city where the TUC was formed.

“This text is a fantastic celebration of the work union members do across society. And it’s a reminder of why we need strong unions now and into the future.”

The poem reads:

These are gardener’s hands

Planting spring bulbs in the municipal parks

My hands play acoustic guitar

I am music’s diligent apprentice

I have the praying hands of clergy

Vicar, minister, imam, rabbi, priest

Mine are the hands that feed, a chef’s

So you will sit and eat, welcome

Or where there is hurt, hands heal

Nurse, doctor, surgeon make whole

My hands wear the gloves of science

I think research is a kind of love

I offer the hands that fight fire

As I run to the burning tower

* More about the TUC annual congress 2018 here

*TUC https://www.tuc.org.uk/

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