Rapture Poems

Carol Ann Duffy

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

80 Pages


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Winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize

Rapture is a book-length love poem and a moving act of personal testimony from one of Britain's best-loved poets. But what sets this apart from other treatments of the subject is Carol Ann Duffy's refusal to simplify the contradictions of love and read its transformation—infatuation, longing, passion, commitment, rancor, separation, and grief—as either redemptive or destructive.

This collection is a map of real love in all its churning complexity, simultaneously direct and subtle, showing us that a song can be made of even the most painful episodes in our lives. With poems that will find deep resonance in the experience of most readers, it is a collection that speaks for us all.


Praise for Rapture

"The poems are wonderful . . . They reveal the way in which, even at the early stages of an affair, doom may creep in and attach itself to joy . . . There is nothing lost in love that can't be found again in poetry—if the poet is good enough. And Carol Ann Duffy is."—Kate Kellaway, The Observer

"Sensual, moving, and strikingly original."—John Preston, The Telegraph

"I read it on the tube, and missed my station. I read it in bed, and couldn't sleep. I read it at my desk, and started to cry. Affairs are notoriously disruptive. You get parking tickets, cancel meetings, forget to feed the cat. Reading about an affair is not supposed to have the same effect. But it does in the case of Carol Ann Duffy's Rapture."—Margaret Reynolds, The Guardian (UK)

"The most humane and accessible poet of our time, and Rapture is essential reading for the broken-hearted of all ages."—The Guardian (UK)

"Rapture is a rare thing—a poetry book that can (and should) be read from start to finish. At its core is an episodic love story, each 'chapter' containing a love poem that can be savored alone or as part of the whole piece . . . A vibrant work. It bursts into life, as if nothing has been kept back, every last emotion spilt on to the page . . . As the latest Carol Ann Duffy collection it is magnificent. As an examination of modern love and how it shapes us as human beings, it is unparalleled."—The Scotsman

"Rapture takes the reader on an ecstatic rollercoaster: soaring and swooping and holding one's breath; hurtling, heart thumping through the complexities of human feeling . . . This is a book that demands to be read from cover to cover."—The Times (London)

"A book about falling head over heels in love, being in love, and the loss of that love . . . The intensity of the feeling, which clearly springs from raw experience, is balanced by a reassuringly solid technique."—Financial Times

"A triumph: more intense and more lyrical than anything else."—The Irish Times

"Duffy makes each poem sing an intricate, delicate song . . . There is an exceptional fluidity and grace about these poems."—The Daily Telegraph

"Direct and vulnerable."—The Sunday Times (London)

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Carol Ann Duffy

  • Carol Ann Duffy was appointed British poet laureate in 2009. She lives in Manchester, where she is a professor and the creative director of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

  • Carol Ann Duffy (C) Sue Adler