everywhere swans, by Poppy Cockburn-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

everywhere swans, by Poppy Cockburn

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Poppy Cockburn
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Poetry, chapbook, 28 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

Origami swans, fierce swans, pedalo swans, caged swans, rippling swans…

Swans are known to mate for life. Their long necks arched and mirrored together form a heart shape, a clichéd emblem of love. How can images encoded with deeply-entrenched societal symbolism swim towards subversion?

The poems in everywhere swans are interconnected, linked loosely together around the watery site of a relationship. Dominated by nature-oriented imagery, they feature the recurring motif of a swan, which acts as a touchpoint for reflecting on the complexities of contemporary romance — on disparate values and fluidity, on how withheld communication can fuel obsession, and on how progressive ideals might be challenged by our primal instincts, or hindered by a lack of language through which to articulate ourselves and explore them safely.

Poppy Cockburn is a UK-based writer who grew up in the Wye Valley. Her poetry has been published by Anthropocene, Perverse, The Rialto, Rough Trade Books and Spam Zine. She is the author of three other chapbooks including feed notes (If a Leaf Falls Press, 2021), Waiting Room (Invisible Hand Press, 2021) and Liquid Crystal Lovesick Demon (forthcoming Broken Sleep Books, 2023). She works as a freelance communications professional for the arts and culture sector and tweets via @poppypersonism.