Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate of Britain, uses simple phrases and powerful metaphors, symbols, and imagery to capture her readers' imaginations. One of the most appealing aspects of Duffy's style is the direct, accessible way in which she has written her poems; this is not to say that her poetry is simple by any means!
The style is easily enough read by a middle school student, but the content and power of Duffy's poetry is so meaningful that it can entertain and speak to any age group. One of the way that Duffy achieves this fine balance of depth and ease-of-readability is her fine-tuned use of figurative language devices. She really has the gift of painting a brilliant mental pictures with words; her comparisons and metaphors continue to startle the reader in their originality. For example in "Valentine," Duffy uses the extended metaphor of an onion as the perfect valentine. This comparison not only surprises the reader, but also makes perfect sense through Duffy's dry, ironic tone.
Carol Ann Duffy well deserves her reputation as one of the leading British female poets of her day.