2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A strong commitment to the art of poetry,
This review is from: Full Blood (Salt Modern Poets) (Paperback)
Full Blood is one of the most exciting collections of British poetry I've come across in the last few years. John Siddique stands apart from the much of the poetry scene in Britain that, with a few exceptions, seems to be dominated by crude confessionalism and even cruder moralism. Here Siddique presents us with poems that call on his life for inspiration. Whether about childhood or adulthood, Siddique's poems draw you into experiences rather than places in time.
Whilst it appears that Siddique is telling us his own story, he uses many voices to do so. This approach puts me in mind of the great American Objectivist poet Charles Reznikoff (1894 - 1976). The basic tenets of Objectivist poetics as defined by Louis Zukofsky were to treat the poem as an object, and to emphasise sincerity, intelligence, and the poet's ability to look clearly at the world. Reznikoff's works drew on his own personal experiences, yet they went beyond mere autobiography. The `sincerity' that Zukofsky spoke of should not be confused with the Romantic concept of `truth', in which the artist was expected to present his version of truth about the world almost as beautified fact. The `sincerity' of the Objectivists was a commitment to the poetry as an object, to be appreciated as a poem.
John Siddique fulfills this definition, though one gets the impression with each work that it does not want to stay in the same world, that it wishes to keep moving ahead: finding new expressions and new voices to convey the poetry to the world. Full Blood is an outstanding collection that displays all that is great and exciting about the art of poetry. John Siddique is disciplined without being distant, and intimate without being dogmatically self-referential. He stands as one of today's finest poets and one that serves as an example to others (including the `big names') of how the art of poetry should be approached.
Read the full review at manchestersalon.org.uk