Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Darker Side of Love anthology.

The Darker Side of Love from Paper Swans Press is an anthology of poetry looking at the reverse of the usual through rose tinted glasses attitude. Set up in 2014, Paper Swans Press aim to support writers of poetry and flash fiction. This is another of my buys at the Poetry Book Fair in September.

The first poem, The Museum of Broken Relationships (Lewis Buxton) list items  kept from dates (the ticket stub), the gifts given, and things left, and ask for them to be sent to the museum where 'people will be charged for the pleasure of seeing your suffering.' This was a strong poem to begin the anthology and one I could certain identify with.

Other poems I particularly enjoyed include For Sale (Stephanie Arsoska) which begins 'Come, see the hearts laid out in line', Refreshment (Sarah Miles) which ends 'I am not your cup of tea', The Dress (Maggie Sawkins) which I read several times because of the twists and turns - I needed to get to the bottom of it. Your Trainers (Kay Buckley), a six line poem struck a note with me and made me smile and  I liked The Shirt (Madelaine Smith),

As Evening Falls (Emma Lee) is a sad poem which 'track the indentation in your pillow' of someone now elsewhere 'where it smells of disinfectant/and always/seems to be twilight.' Very powerful.

Most of the seventeen poems are short. Silverfish (Elisabeth Sennitt Clough) is an exception. I've read it several times and compares the demise of silverfish falling foul of the traps she has set to an incident after her relationship breakup.

The booklet is twenty-five pages long and contains a bio of each poet at the back. It records very well the hurt that can come from loving when things go wrong or take an unexpected turn. A fiver well spent.

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