Be Mine (2007)

An anthology for Lovers, Weddings and Ever After.

Exuberant collection of poetry and prose which explores all the stages of love, from first loves to last loves, from fever and rapture to the daily ordinariness and wonder in the happiness of two people being together all their lives.

Romantic, funny, mischievous, the writers here range from John Lennon and Paul McCartney (In my Life) to Charles Darwin. Wendy Cope writes ‘Valentine’  while Carol Ann writes ‘Rapture’.

Useful for weddings and valentines and engagements and birthdays, certainly, but in the end this is book about love and its very feverish ways. It tries to find the truth about love…

U. A. Fanthorpe talks of the way the loved one checks the insurance, deals with dentists and upholds ‘The permanently rickety elaborate/ Structures of living; which is Atlas... which keeps/ My suspect edifice upright in air,/ As Atlas did the sky’.

As Louis de Bernieres writes in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, a wonderful reading for a wedding: ‘Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body... That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away...’

Little, Brown £12.99