18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2001
For those who enjoy the work of one of the most talented poets in Britain today (and how on earth did she not become Poet Laureate?) this collection of poems is one of her best. Exploring a bewildering range of themes and issues - from homelessness to Christmas to love to literature - she delights in picking up the unexpected viewpoint, challenging preconception and genial ignorance, exposing the humour and the sadness of the world around us. One of the things that strikes me most is her sheer range of knowledge and interest. Her poems draw on history, archaeology, mythology and legend, religion, Hollywood, nursery-rhymes, Fairy Tales, printing, angling, High Theology and lavatory humour. The poems buzz with energy wit and passion - and every one of them strikes home.
Her power to provoke thought and question lies in her ability to show us people, places and attitudes that we recognise. Often when we stop to think about it, the injustice or the carelessness is uncomfortably close to home. Meanwhile the poems present a gallery of characters and voices that somehow ring true - even when the voice belongs to Odysseus' Cat - tartly setting us straight on the prejudiced and blatantly 'anti-cat' work of Homer, or Lady Macbeth bemoaning the lot of the housewife; "I wish to heaven, Banquo, he'd died in your house!"
Whether you are reading for enjoyment - or for AS Level studies - this poet is awesome and at the peak of her art.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2005
U A Fanthorpe writes with a sharp pen and a kindly wit. I enjoyed these, especially the lost scene from Macbeth and the poems focusing on the "other" (and very funny!) side of religion. Other pieces weren't quite so focused, but still a volume to enjoy.
I would be happy to read more by this poet.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2004
Fanthorpe's poetry in this collection is alternately alien anduncomfortably familiar. Although certainly not universal in their appeal,her poems are intriguing, thought-provoking, andcompelling.
Challenging and diverting, if slightly confusing at times,this anthology isn't ideal for the beginner at poetry, but rather forthose more capable of taking poems apart at the seams to gain theknowledge of how to weave it back together again.
Not a classic, but worth a read, and an interesting set-text for theA-Level student, notably because of her manipulation of existing texts andestablished poetic devices.