Poems exploring the warp and weft of marriage

Poems exploring the warp and weft of marriage

Published on Monday 4 February 2019

“If ever two were one, then surely we.” So says the seventeenth-century poet Anne Bradstreet. These days, her portrayal of the marriage bond as one of unconditional mutual devotion might underestimate the complexity of the husband/wife relationship. The other poems in this vivid and entertaining mini-anthology – published just in time for Valentine’s Day – go on to celebrate just that.

Our selection offers moments of tenderness, romance and wry humour. There’s a poem in which a newly-married woman reflects on the “woosh” sound of the word wife and another where a man wonders about a woman he’s never met, as if he could have married her. We encounter a mysterious wife who arrives when the tide is right, while for Tiffany Atkinson a husband is like a farmers’ market, his heart “…a loom of many rhizomes”.

These beguiling poems are arranged in pairs so they speak to each other across the page – rather like a husband and wife engrossed in conversation across an old kitchen table.

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"By the way I have become almost Evangelical about the pamphlets! Everyone I know has got one. I’m just stopping short of thrusting them on people I don’t know but who look as if they need a poetry break."Liz O’Sullivan, Dovegreyreader Chapter, Candlestick Collective

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