Rapture // Carol Ann Duffy
But maybe mere prose is unable to capture your feelings this Valentine’s Day. Maybe it lacks the intensity of your love, and you need something in which every word is so concentrated with love, that you feel dizzy from the experience. If so, then look no further than Carol Ann Duffy’s Rapture, her 2005 poetry anthology which brings love to life in ways you’d never have imagined.
The anthology features a total of 52 poems, portraying the progression of Duffy’s love over the course of a year. The sheer scale of the anthology therefore means she covers all aspects of love: from far away crushes to lust to staying up till 3am texting your beloved to love to heartbreak, she leaves no topic untouched. The anthology is, quite literally, a rapture of emotions that cannot fail to enter your life like a hurricane and change everything it its path.
But perhaps what Duffy does best with the anthology is show the sheer obsession of love. In ‘Name’, the narrator describes how even their beloved’s name ‘is a charm’. In fact, ‘I hear your name / rhyming, rhyming, / rhyming with everything’, meaning that loves transcends the realms of rationality to pure erraticism. Love’s effect on our brains is like one of poison, making us think in ways we would never think of when not under its influence.
Duffy is a wordsmith. She takes the everyday and makes it beautiful. The act of texting is no longer just two fingers tapping at a screen, but ‘injured birds’. Their lover is not a person, but ‘a touchable dream’. Every poem is filled with such intensity, that you can’t help but fall in love with the very poems themselves.
Words by Juliette Rowsell
[Compiled by Juliette Rowsell]