“The effortless virtuosity, drama, and humanity of Carol Ann Duffy’s verse have made her much admired among contemporary poets. Rapture is a book-length love poem and a moving act of personal testimony. But what sets these poems apart from other treatments of the subject is Duffy’s refusal to simplify the contradictions of love and read its transformations—infatuation, longing, passion, commitment, rancor, separation, and grief—as either redemptive or destructive. This is a map of real love in all its churning complexity, simultaneously direct and subtle, showing us that a song can be made of even the most painful episodes in our lives. With poems that will find deep resonance in the experience of most readers, it is a collection that can and does speak for us all.”
I learned about Carol Ann Duffy while as an undergraduate. One of her poetry books was required reading and the class spent hours laughing and reading her poems out loud. If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t have given poetry a second look. I was ready to look into her more so I sought out her books.
This book was short and a breeze to read. There was a lot of poems that could be glossed over because they sound so wonderfully pretty, but all of the poems had this underlining power to them. Duffy again surprised me with how deep poetry could be even if it sounded silly. These poems were more serious than the others I have read by her. These were emotional, raw, and intense. The stuff I like from books. I like to feel the feels as it were.
I wanted to compare her to Minnie Bruce Pratt, but while they are both poets and are both able to write beautiful poems they are drastically different. Pratt does more stories (at least from what I have read) and Duffy seems to do more emotions. They both give a full poem, but their strengths are different. If I knew either of them personally I would beg them to work together to create a book of super-poems. I would never have to read another poem again if they could combine their skills.
However, this is a book once I had read it I had forgotten I had read. I just remembered because Goodreads said I was still reading it. So while I enjoyed it, it was not a book that was able to stay in my mind the way some others had. Even her other book was able to stay in my mind better. So while I want to praise this book, I want to be honest. I loved it when I was reading it, but I have issues remembering it later.
3.5 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book (if I can remember it). However if you haven’t read The World’s Wife I highly suggest that one.
You can buy this book here.