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Amy Doyle: Relationship Recovery

Amy Doyle: Relationship Recovery

I’m a 4th year student at Edinburgh studying English Literature and Classics. Born and raised in Cardiff, I’ve been writing creatively for as long as I can remember, winning an award in one of the Rotary Club’s short story competitions and even being crowned Bard at my high school’s Eisteddfod. I’m an avid reader, of course, having inherited my passion for books (and a bunch of folios) from my nan. She was my biggest fan, as are my parents who I have to thank for my love of Tolkien and my shelving units.

I have a semi-active bookstagram called @amy.reads.classics and a LinkedIn profile where you can find links to my published works to date. They’re all for nawr, a magazine that publishes art, literature and philosophy by Welsh and Wales-based artists.

My piece, Relationship Recovery, was a bit of an exercise in catharsis for me, exploring a person’s relationship with substance addiction through the lens of a failing romantic relationship. It’s a very popular metaphor and it crops up a lot in media. It’s a sentiment I think most people can empathise with – the pain of losing something close, fighting with the romantic instinct to reconnect with them via phone calls and memories.

Haikus often feature images depicting the essence of a specific moment in time, so I’ve entitled each verse with pentads from the traditional Japanese calendar to demarcate the passage of time. The titles themselves offer a poetic journey through Japan’s micro-seasons, while the verses reflect what’s happening in the moment. Where there are two stanzas, there are two perspectives – one feminine, one masculine; the addict, and the substance. While these lines eventually do combine into one longer verse, signifying the contentment and newfound unity of the protagonist, there is a slight relapse in the penultimate stanza in which she wonders what her ex is doing.

I wrote it in the height of lockdown last year [2020]. Pretty much stuck wallowing in my flat for most of the semester, I only really had my flatmates for company. We made the best of a bad situation though and had a lot of fun! But I think a bit of the melancholy at not being allowing outside has seeped into the poem somewhat, cf. ‘my existence is these walls.’


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