Vintage £7.99 (260pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
When Love Speaks, Edited By Adam O'Riordan
Friday 11 February 2011
As WB Yeats wrote in a poem not included here (though several of his gems appear), "How but in custom and in ceremony/ Are innocence and beauty born?"
Far more, and better, than the routine Valentine's anthology, Adam O'Riordan's collection picks pieces of verse and prose to match the rituals of weddings, civil partnerships and married life.
Though the items fall into groups determined by tradition ("vows" to "recession"), couples of all kinds may find inspiration here.
Among the poems, enjoy not just the likes of Donne, Hardy and Shakespeare but Cole Porter and Alice Oswald. The prose, selected with a keen roving eye, ranges from Dickens and Chesterton to Doris Lessing and Vita Sackville-West. Ring the bells for a garland that revives a stale genre.
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