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The Bridle is concerned with the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of the human condition. Childhood, family, memory, myth – even the arguments and silences between lovers – all are enlisted in the bid to come to terms with our fleshy, mortal state. Poetry, here, is the bridle; restraining and shaping emotion, holding and guiding thought, as Pugh grapples with what it means to be human and female and how best to speak of that experience. Whatever the poems’ forms (sonnet or free verse, rhymed or unrhymed, long sequences or short, 6 line fragments), they sing out to the reader directly, urgently, in despair and celebration.
‘Assured yet tender, Meryl Pugh keeps an impressively tight rein on her craft to such an extent we can still hear each poem long after it has galloped off the page.’ —Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch