by Art Nahill
This tight little book of 68 pages contains a weight of wisdom, phrased in very effective poetic form.
The poems included are ordered into three sections.
In Part l, some deep emotions are given voice. Sad loneliness is portrayed in Athazagoraphobia–
Every day I check the mail
sometimes twice for evidence
of my existence…
– and also in other poems such as, Superstitions, and A Brief History of Salt, that together suggest biographical progression.
Then, in Part ll, memories of past times and people once known – Mary Lou, Mr Dombrinski and more, as well as some on the inevitability of old age –
Sit here too long
and you can feel the world
off its back like a wet dog.
Also in this section is a group of poems on birds, including one, Murmurations, which is the inspiration for the title and the cover design – to my mind not the most effective in the collection, but it’s a great title. In fact, titles of individual poems throughout the volume are very well chosen.
In Part lll, I find great use of metaphors to paint evocative word pictures. In Ars Poetica #78, the metaphor of an ant is used to comment on the form of the poem itself. Very arty, Mr Nahill.
Then in the next poem, You Say My Poems Have Too Many Adjectives, there’s an answer to critics from the poet himself –
As if a lamp
could be just a lamp
a shoe just a way
to get around
as if our lives
– written almost without an adjective.
The head-on approach of Damn Right I Let the Cat Out, is also present in others – it’s a collection that looks at aspects of life, living, and experience with honesty.
The poems mentioned, and others, make this a collection to be read and reread. They’re all very accessible, and even readers who don’t usually read poetry should find them rewarding.
They’re not lengthy, mainly having just a few words in each line. Dare I suggest that, if there’s to be a reprint, a larger font, and placing each one further out on the page to make a wider gutter, would increase readability. But it’s a minor niggle.
Author: Art Nahill
Publisher: Two Hemispheres Poetry
Available: Order through TimeOut Books, Unity Books or other independent bookseller or via twohemispherespoetry.com