Ophelia Wears Black

I learned about the poet Segovia Amil – as with so many other talented artists – from Instagram. To see her little poems coming up in my feed always enchants me. Then, late last year I think, she published her first edition of poetry, “Ophelia Wears Black”.

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I “only” got a softcover edition but found myself surprised by the good quality of the book. There is such a velvety touch to the jacket … Also, Amil contributed numerous illustrations to the edition, as well as many atmospheric black-and-white photographs of her (taken by Laura Pol). I think it is due to this well thought out design with much passion for detail that this book feels very intimate, just as her poems feel so intimate in my Instagram feed, as though written just for me, despite the many, many followers Amil has gathered by now.

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Amil commences “Ophelia Wears Black” with an introduction that does not lag behind her poetry in her diligent choice of words. She works her way through the development history of her first book, explaining its title and how she brought into being the alter ego of Ophelia. Usually I rather dislike introductions, for I personally see no need for the artist to explain their work, and I always read them last (since the introduction to Doris Lessing’s “The Golden Notebook” spoilt the whole novel for me), but with Amil’s introduction it is different. It feels like her elaboration on the concept of the book did not create distance towards the poetic voice of Ophelia – quite the opposite, it brought her even closer, allowed her to take shape.

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“Ophelia Wears Black” is divided into four sections: The First Blush, On Solitude & Abandon, Burials, and Blood of the Seed. These sections serve to weave a coherent whole out of the single poems, following Ophelia through different stages of her life. For some reason, I like the poems gathered in “Burials” best, they speak to me most in their topics – the pain, the big dark cloud blackening the sky, and yet the hunger for life fighting back surrender.

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All in all, I admire Amil for her talent to choose simple, honest words and a straightforward form without much squiggel for expressing very complex and sometimes contradicting emotions.

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Segovia Amil also offers for sale a small collection of pins. The “Black Heart” pin was the first one available, and with my recent obsession of all things anatomical I just had to get one. “The serpent rose” and “Ophelia” are now also available as limited run!

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For further information on the author Segovia Amil and her poetry check out www.segoviaamilpoetry.com.

Lisa v. D.

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