Collected Poems Paperback – 25 Nov 2004
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About the Author
'The patron saint of poetry' (according to Carol Ann Duffy), Roger McGough was born in Liverpool, the son of a docker, and attended Hull University. In the '60s he had a brief flirtation with the pop world as a member of the Scaffold. He has been one of Britain's most popular poets for over 40 years, and has written many books for children and adults. His Selected Poems, entitled Blazing Fruit, is a bestselling poetry title on the Penguin backlist. He lives in Barnes, south-west London, with his wife and two youngest children.
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For example, I have still never seen a poem describing the truth of relationships better than 'You & I'; 'Unlucky for Some', subtitled '13 voices from a woman's hostel in Soho, 1979', is as heart rending as any verse you will ever read; and McGough's legendary dissection of a 1960's Liverpool girl, 'Valerie' is scalpel-sharp, even in 2011. These are but three examples, though there is something everyone can appreciate within this fine collection. Warmly recommended to one and all. :)
This volume contains poems from his collections beginning with The Mersey Sound and ending with the 2002 collection Everyday Eclipses. There are also 6 previously unpublished poems.
Nothing is too small or simple for McGough's poetry to touch, and no more is this dedication to the ordinary and everyday clearer than in the eponymous poem Everyday Eclipses:
The hamburger flipped across the face of the bun
The Frisbee winning the race against its own shadow
McGough is not just a poet, but a trickster, a gambler, a joker, a juggler, a punner: there is no escape for the English language as words and phrases tumble and swing like acts in a circus. The results are often laugh out loud funny, like clowns for the sake of sheer fun; others will leave you fearful and gasping like the feats of the acrobats; and others still, like giants and bearded ladies, are just plain odd, ridiculous even.
If poetry is popular speech; the drunken words thrown around in pubs; you and I walking down the street: then Roger McGough is its voice, and this anthology one of its greatest collections.
Love Cycle (from Everyday Eclipses)
Up against the wall
Locked in passionate embrace
our two bicycles
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