adrian mitchell could never write a poem as good as his "tell me lies about vietnam" or so i thought. in blue coffee, a documentation of his more recent works to be followed up this year with a retrospective of his career up 10 1984, he achieves great concepts but with very 'working class' language - this is accessible to both the scholar and the brickie. this is no more evident than in his poem which contains the exquisite line "a bus says us, while a car says me" from the poem "Yes". although in places the metaphor may be seem a little twee, and cannot surpass the quality housed in his "greatest hits" collection, this is a sturdy book outlining a almost more relaxed output of a poet reaching 65.
To me his works spell out a note of potential freedom to express oneself, i.e. that if he can do it, anyone can. This may seem a backhanded compliment, but i believe that adrian mitchell's true ideal is for a nation of poets.
i saw him perform his poems at the wedgewood rooms in portsmouth, a nice arts venue near to me a bout 2 and a half years ago. i really feel that my life changed a bit that night - i felt that i could achieve something beit with poetry or any medium that takes my fancy.
mitchell has been inspirational to others as well as me and this book shows it, but for a total understanding of hsi appeal - his "greatest hits" must be read.