A Glass Half Full: Spoken-Word CD Included
Miramax, 2004 (2004)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
hat first appealed to me about this book of verse was a front-cover quote from Tom Wolfe, who calls the author '
A 21st century Kipling
' (I'm a long-term Kipling fan, despite his current lack of popularity with the politically correct crowd). After dipping quickly into the contents, I thought Wolfe was wrong. Reading the entire book made me understand the comparison better. The style is not particularly similar (aside from '
A Hymn of Hate
' which reminded me of some of Kipling's '
' verses, and '
' which is reminiscent of '
') but the sincerity, an emotional connection with the reader, and the '
glass half full
' approach to life all reminded me of Rudyard Kipling.
he CD that comes with the book is a big bonus - in it the author's expressive reading varies from soft and sensitive to loud and raucous, to suit the range of his poems. Topics range from Hitler's death scene and '
Dead White Males
' to a variety of 60s memories such as '
The Summer of Love
' (with a tone both fond and scathing), commentaries on modern society (e.g. '
Jack and Jill
' on lawsuits and '
Why Do They Do It?
' on lying politicians), and touching tributes to friends who have died. Some, like '
' and '
', are just for fun, but more are serious and timely. '
' (on 9/11) is poignant and '
' is wise. And while the poems are thoughtful, they are also accessible, communicating clearly.
t's hard to choose a favorite but some spoke to me more strongly than others. Having grown up in Northern Ireland, I found truth in '
'. I particularly enjoyed the sympathy for older women in poems like '
save your pity, dearie - / Been there - done that. Oh Yes!
') And I loved the compassion of '
A Child of Adam and Eve
' ... '
There are no 'immigrant children' / Cluttering up the land; / There is only a tyke on a beat-up bike, / Beginning to understand.
' Felix Dennis gives us poetry with roots in the 60s and a 21st century relevance. I could rave on, but I won't. Get your own copy and settle down with a glass of vino - you have hours of enjoyment ahead.
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