Tony Cross goes into raptures over Carol Ann Duffy's 2005 poetry collection Rapture...
"Hotter than hell. I burned for you day and night;
got bits of your body wrong, bits of it right,
in the huge mouth of the dark, in the bite of the light."
I've never been so swept up in a book of poetry that I have resorted to binge reading it, but I have with this. I almost couldn't bear to put it down. It's fifty-two poems, which might be deliberate. One for each week of a year. Or it might not.
It's a series of love poems, about love in all its complexities and complications that somehow almost makeup one longer poem. Like a poetic novel. It reminded me, in some ways, of Dorothy Porter's 'The Monkey's Mask'. But perhaps I'm seeing patterns that aren't there.
The language is exquisite. Line after line stuck in me like verbal pins. Lines you wish you had thought of or could use yourself in conversation. Normally, I list my favourite poems from any book of poetry I read but this one is all favourites.
Perhaps I'm drunk on poetry this afternoon but having picked this up at the library I'm going to buy a copy of my own. And I'm going to read it again and again. I'm going to annoy people by underlining the lines that I love. I'm going to try and learn some of them off by heart, starting with Syntax, and I hope it'll be one of those books whose spine grows creased and pages come loose through overuse.
Read this. You'll thank me in the end.
Follow Tony on Twitter @Lokster71
Image – Amazon.