Sunday, 1 May 2016

Ophelia Wears Black by Segovia Amil

 I very rarely buy poetry collections by one writer. I usually prefer anthologies as it is more likely that I will discover something I enjoy, and I like introduced to the poetry of several different writers at once. However, I knew I needed to read Ophelia Wears Black by Segovia Amil as soon as I saw it.

What drew me towards Ophelia Wears Black? I think it was a combination of the Ophelia reference (Hamlet will always be one of my favourite plays and I have always been fascinated by Ophelia), and the cover. I adore the cover of this book. The white design against the black cover is incredibly striking. It does tend to get a little dusty though, as you can see by my pictures! 

Ophelia Wears Black is split into four sections, ‘The First Blush’, ‘On Solitude & Abandon’, ‘Burials’ and ‘Blood of the Seed’. The latter two sections are my favourite, but I enjoyed poems from all of the sections immensely. I think I preferred the latter half of the book as it delves a little more into the role of death within life and the profound beauty within death and darkness, whilst the first half features more ‘coming of age’ poems and focuses more on adolescence. My favourite poems in the collection are ‘Winteress,’ ‘With My Dead’ and ‘February’, as I feel that these poems speak to me personally the most. The book also offers an introduction to the poems, which is an insightful read on the background and inspiration behind these poems.

The poetry within explores several binary oppositions. Darkness is contrasted with light, heat with frost and detachment with immersion. Even the poetry itself is simultaneously simplistic and complex; it delves into themes of gravitas whilst remaining accessible and personable to the reader. There's something about this book that makes you feel like the only person in the world. However, despite exploring these themes of detachment, there is a surprising level of intimacy in this collection. I haven’t quite been feeling myself recently and I have found a great deal of comfort inside Ophelia Wears Black.

I cannot think of single thing that I do not like about this book. The poetry is sensational, dark and cathartic, and the photographs complement the poetry beautifully. They find the balance between mystery, intrigue and beauty without detracting from the poetry. The tone and style of the poetry is also continuous throughout. It's almost impossible to consider these poems as separate entities; they are brush strokes on a painting that sets the atmosphere and tone of this book. It is eloquent, elegant and remarkably heartfelt. You become seamlessly immersed in her world from the second you open the cover. I found myself completely absorbed from the second I turned the first page to the second I finished it. I always reach for this whenever I feel like I need some time alone with my thoughts. There’s something remarkably therapeutic about reading this. It reminds me that it is completely acceptable to make peace with my own inner darkness. It clarifies the nature of darkness itself, blurring the boundary between the joy of life and the inevitable pull towards death. It is dark but empowering. It's perfect to curl up with after a stressful day. I lose myself within its pages almost instantly. 

I adore this book. I think I will be reaching for this for many years to come. I do wish that it came in hardback, as I am almost certainly going to wear out this copy. I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes my favourite literary purchase of the year as it truly is a captivating read.

You can purchase Ophelia Wears Black for £16.53 from the Book Depository.

Have you read anything interesting lately?

Disclosure: I bought this book myself.


  1. Ophelia Wears Black is on my wish-list for sure. So beautiful. Current facination here is Kafka.

  2. It both looks and sounds beautiful and strange, well worth looking up.

    You may like Katie Metcalfe's poetic works - her blog is a beautiful evocative space, where she is very open about her problems such as an eating disorder. You can find her here:

    Like you I tend to go for poetry anthologies, but I do adore Carol Ann Duffy's The World's Wife - funny, sad, creative interpretations of women in mythology.

    I've read several terrible books recently for book group! I then read two books that have been about a couple of years and loved both - Mike Carey's The Girl with all the Gifts (adult dystopia) and the beautiful, emotional The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Just gorgeous.

  3. I think ive never heard of that book before but now it is on my wishlist for sure <3


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