The Cyprian by Amy Crutchfield

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Powerful debut which interrogates the nature of love in its various forms

From poems of desire and sexual longing to poems of love in the face of death, The Cyprian explores the joy and heartbreak love weaves into our lives. The collection confronts some of our primary questions about love: how is it possible to accept the death of the beloved? What role does deception play in love? When does love become a force of exploitation? The collection is composed of five parts, reflecting the different aspects of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty — a complexity which is also implicit in the ambiguity of the book’s title, ‘the Cyprian’.

Crutchfield trained as a classicist, and her poetry combines conversational idioms with mythic visions of human relationship, ‘longing and its/ fierce metamorphosis’. Elegies, love poems and imagistic snapshots mix with wide open epistolary verse. Her poetry reclaims the linguistic power and range of allusion found in late romantic poets like Christopher Brennan and Francis Webb, bringing them to bear on contemporary female experience.