This collection is pretty much what you’d expect from Carol Ann Duffy, especially if you’ve read her collection, The World’s Wife. It’s various twists on fairy tales, or folk tales, or stories that use those tropes and images and structures. The tone is generally wry and funny, and also fairly modern and casual; if you like your fairy tales serious, strictly adhering to the ‘original’ (or rather, most well known) lines, or in archaic language, then this might not be for you.
In a way, it wasn’t a great thing to read straight through. I do like fairy tales, but a lot of these stuck fairly close to what I know well already, with relatively plain language. Easy to read, but not literary. Which is fine, but not something I can just read straight through; I’d have been better dipping in and out. Still, I love Carol Ann Duffy’s voice no matter what, so I did enjoy this — and bonus, it has a gorgeous cover.
With my book-buying resolutions just coming into force, this might be the busiest Stacking the Shelves post you’re gonna see from me in a while. On the other hand, I am now in charge of acquiring books for my library, so surely it won’t count if I just buy one or two or three for them…
Okay, okay, I’ll be good.
My usual odd mix — I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to nature writing at the moment, but hey, I’ll go with it.
There were sales! And I still had a voucher! And it wasn’t January yet!
Pretty much all of these were bought with gift vouchers. I’ve read bad things about The Ancient Paths now, but it might be interesting anyway.
Gift from my aunt for Christmas. <3 Look at that pretty cover! I had no idea this was even coming out until just before Christmas, but it’s Carol Ann Duffy, soooo. Yeah. Happy.
What’s everyone else been getting? Been breaking your 2015 bookish resolutions already?
This is a very interesting idea for an anthology, pairing up contemporary writers with an opposite-sex poet of their choice. The poems don’t seem to be necessarily related, though some are; it’s just a collection of poems that spoke to different people, and what different people have to say about love. As with most anthology situations, there are some gems here and some I couldn’t care less about.
As you might expect, I liked the contributions or inclusions of poets I’m already a fan of: Simon Armitage, Pablo Neruda, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Duffy herself. I was more bewildered by the proliferation of Robert Burns, whose work I’ve never really been attracted by, and the absence of Shakespeare. Overall, those surprises make the anthology a more interesting one: it’s not whatever stereotype you might conjure for an anthology of love poetry, but something different: a conversation about love, in many different forms, moods and tenses.