Carrying My Wife
Author: Moniza Alvi
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books (2000)
In these poems Monica Alvi's delicately drawn fantasies transform the familiar into strange evocations of the joys and tensions of relationships, of love, intimacy, frustration, jealousy, and paranoia. Includes her first two collections: The Country at My Shoulder and A Bowl of Warm Air, published by Oxford University Press.
Alvi left Pakistan for England when a few months old. In The Country at My Shoulder and A Bowl of Warm Air, she drew on real and imagined homelands in poems which are 'vivid, witty and imbued with unexpected and delicious glimpses of the surreal—this poet's third country' (Maura Dooley).
In the new poems of Carrying My Wife, her delicately drawn fantasies transform the familiar into strange evocations of the joys and tensions of relationships, of love, intimacy, frustration, jealousy and paranoia, her rich imagery and luxuriant imagination recalling the transformations of Chagall paintings, the dream-visions of Douannier-Rousseau. In the title-sequence she plays the role of husband to an imaginary wife. Writing from a male or "husband" viewpoint, she is able both to distance herself and to zoom into sensations and difﬁculties, so that surreal aspects of relationships emerge as well as the humour which might have been blurred in a head-on approach. Her poems do not attempt a male stance, but show another way of looking at oneself.