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Rapture [Hardcover]

Carol Ann Duffy
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2005
The effortless virtuosity, directness, drama and humanity of Carol Ann Duffy's verse have made her our most admired and best-loved contemporary poet. Rapture, her seventh collection, 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 that Duffy refuses to simplify the contradictions of love, and read its transformations - infatuation, longing, passion, commitment, rancour, separation and grief - as simply redemptive or destructive. Rapture is a map of real love, in all its churning complexity. Yet in showing us that a song can be made of even the most painful episodes in our lives, Duffy has accessed a new level of directness that sacrifices nothing in the way of subtlety of expression. These are poems that will find deep rhymes in the experience of most readers, and nowhere has Duffy more eloquently articulated her belief that poetry should speak for us all.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 1st edition (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330412809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330412803
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 503,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carol Ann Duffy lives in Manchester, where she is Professor and Creative Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has written for both children and adults, and her poetry has received many awards, including the Signal Prize for Children's Verse, the Whitbread and Forward Prizes, and the Lannan and E. M. Forster Prize in America. In 2005, she won the T. S. Eliot Prize for Rapture. In 2009, she was appointed Poet Laureate.

Product Description

Review

'One of the most important, and rightly loved, poets of our time.' -- Independent

A passionate and beautiful new book-length love affair in verse.. -- Ruth Padel, Independent

From the Publisher

Shortlisted for the Scottish Book of the Year 2006

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Experience Rapture 26 Jun 2008
By LittleMoon TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Who said the love poem is dead? Carol Ann Duffy's Rapture stands with shining silver defiance against any such assertion.

Starting with one of my all-time favourite poems, "You", Duffy writes "the thought of you stayed too late in my head/so I went to bed, dreaming you hard". The collection moves with quiet ease, showcasing Duffy's natural inclination to form and rhyme, through to the final line "a gift, the blush of memory".

The poems in this book are all love poems, although love is written about in all its various colours, from intense longing and the grief of separation, to love as a great redeeming power.

Duffy is so important as a figure in contemporary poetry, one of the few living poets who actually manages to sell books. Her poetry is very accessible for any reader, not just those interested in poetry, echoing her own belief that poetry should be able to speak for everybody.

This book makes a wonderful gift. The hardback is beautiful, it has a fairytale cover in silver and red, and even a red ribbon to use as a marker.

Rapture isn't just a book of poems, it's an experience.
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97 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strikingly original collection of love poems 15 Nov 2005
Format:Hardcover
I recently had the privilege of attending Carol Ann Duffy's poetry reading in Lancaster and was compelled to buy Rapture after hearing her read extracts from the book. I have yet to encounter another contemporary poet with such a flair for honesty when dealing with such a sentimentalised subject, chronicling every fleeting emotion associated with love and relationships. Carol Ann Duffy never fails to delight her readers with yet more witty, entertaining, and often heartbreaking words, and her symbiotic relationship with language and syntax remains present in each poem. This collection is worth every penny and I urge all fans of the poet and newcomers to her work to buy it now!
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love in all its Manifestations 22 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rapture is Carol Ann Duffy's seventh collection of poems. It is a collection that has love as its underlying theme or unifying idea. The collection is made up of short lyrical poems in which Miss Duffy sets out to express and explore a range of emotions and ideas surrounding the notion of love. Given this narrow subject matter, the question at the back of my mind as I set out to read the collection was just how well will Miss Duffy maintain my interest?

Most of the poems are delivered by a first person narrator speaking to a second person, "you". Although it is not always clear who the second person is, nonetheless this approach gives the poems a personal and intimate feel. The intensity of feelings conveyed are even further heighten by, in some instances, setting them against the background of a river, a forest, rain, etc. In the poem River, the intensity of feelings is made real by the fact that the poet personifies the river leaving the reader with a clear image of just how tender love can be.

Almost as if harking back to the romantic era, in the poem Haworth Miss Duffy continues to draw on natural phonomena as a backdrop to her theme of love. Haworth presents a powerful way of recalling a love vanquished by death. The natural surroundings are full of reminders of lost love. But this is not just a lament for a lover passed on it is also a love song for and to nature.

One of the things these poems reminds us of is that although the person whom one has loved is no longer present, love continues. The reminders of what was once in place with all its impact is to be seen everywhere, for example, in places (Haworth), in time (Hour), in nature (Rain), and in the everyday things we take for granted (Swing). Love never really dies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure bliss 15 May 2012
By Rachel
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I was first falling in love, we did this book at my bookclub. A friend lent me her copy - hardback, red, with a red ribbon to mark the pages. A beautiful book, a perfect present for any woman who loves words.

Anyway, as I said, I was falling in love and I stayed up all night, reading aloud to myself and crying. It was pure bliss!

Of course, at bookclub I drove them all mad, waxing lyrical about the book, reading whole poems aloud...
They indulged me, of course, partly because I was a woman in the first throes of love but mainly because they all loved Rapture too.

Three years later, I still read and sometimes weep, to River:

'Down by the river, under the trees, love waits for me
to walk from the journeying years of my time and arrive...'

'...and I feel love come to my arms and cover my mouth, feel
my soul swoop and ease itself into my skin, like a bird
threading a river. Then I can look love full in the face, see
who you are I have come this far to find, the love of my life.'

Make it Happy: A short guide to long term relationships
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great when you're driving in the rain 21 Nov 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love to listen to audio books. This was a particular stunner. Great poetry read by Juliette Stevenson. Wonderful. Sat here in my lesson, my AS Media students are wondering if I am sane. Well, it's a great way to relax after a day teaching them and their fellow students.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Become enraptured with Rapture... 29 Jun 2009
By Brida TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
RAPTURE by Carol Ann Duffy is simply a beautiful collection of poetry. The over-reaching theme is that of love, but as the back cover explains, "Rapture is a map of real love, in all its churning complexity". From the very first poem, "You", the reader is able to detect that this set of love poems will pack a punch if necessary. While the appealing, gentle side of falling in love is recognised, so too is the horrible side to love - the side which can torture a person's soul. As Duffy so eloquently says, "Falling in love / is glamorous hell".
To me, this is just what love poetry should be. Showing us both the sides of what it is to fall in love with someone and to be loved by someone. It can raise you up and it can dash you back down again. Duffy has also recognised that love changes over the course of a relationship - the opening poem describes how a loved one comes into our life and changes it; they offer up themselves as a "touchable dream" to us, with all the possibilities that brings. There is also the exploration of how our actions can make us feel absurd, as we search for the "small xx" in a text message. And, of course, how even their name can take on a different meaning to us:- "When did your name / change from a proper noun / to a charm?"
What Duffy has created with RAPTURE is a book-length love poem. Regardless of where you may be in your personal love journey, there will be many poems that will speak to you within this gorgeous collection. If you love truly, and deeply, your heart will have been exposed to the potential of hurt, but also to the possibility of rapture. Here, Duffy shows us this.

This particular edition of RAPTURE is also worthy of mention.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars the queen
carol ann duffy is the queen of contemporary poetry. go listen to her read. this is a truely splendid collection
Published 1 month ago by jafa
2.0 out of 5 stars Average
Great writers have passion, take chances, shout, scream, swear, cry, laugh, love. This is all very ordinary, boring even. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Griff
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry book
Was delighted with it this was a present for my granddaughter and she was very happy with the book which arrived on time and was as described
Published 4 months ago by Diva
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous
First book of poetry I know I will reread with so much pleasure. I cannot wait to read it again - in fact I may just do so now. Read more
Published 10 months ago by PD
5.0 out of 5 stars sons
once more sons education has required him to have this book i am not sure whether is appealed or not
Published 14 months ago by sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry that is sublime
Carol Ann Duffy and poetry go together like two peas in a pod. Simply brilliant, at times sublime, beautiful and a great range of emotions portrayed about love. Read more
Published 15 months ago by radadd
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful love poetry
These love poems can be intensely enjoyed for their emotion and imagery by a heterosexual reader even though they were written by a woman to a woman. It is wonderful stuff..
Published 16 months ago by W.Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all
This is a gorgeous collection and I cannot describe it any better than that. If you love poetry, you simply must have this book, or give it to someone you love.
Published 16 months ago by Ms. Fiona Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars One of her best.
Not my favourite collection but still great. Has some of Duffy's best poetry ever. Very entertaining and and some of it funny.
Published 16 months ago by Emily Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars touching
Carol Ann Duffy is a prolific and varied poet laureate. This book had passed me by until I noticed it when browsing on my Kindle. Read more
Published 17 months ago by W. Wood
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