‘The universe was the size of a village’ Andy writes in one poem; here, all of our awkward, heartbreaking and beautiful romances are the size of a pamphlet.
There’s a bittersweet nostalgia for a world that can never be returned to but is inhabited again and again through these powerful, tender and haunting poems.
It is a real pleasure to see these poems under one cover and to discover how subtly they resonate with each other. There’s a sensitivity to the nuances and music of language, an eye for the perfect image, that makes these poems so noticeable. It’s as if I’ve encountered them before in a dream and am rediscovering them for the first time.
In Letters to a first love from the future Armitage skilfully takes us back to the dreams and perils of first love. Here you’ll find new rooms with a double bed, waltzers and ‘idiot hope’, but also the wisdom of recollection, calendars marking out mysterious days, all the past’s touches deemed precious. This is a pamphlet to become lost in.