It’s been a while since one of my poetry collections got reviewed, so I’m very grateful to Saturday Books in Dudley for this appraisal of thirty-one small acts… especially as they seem to have nailed what I think the book is all about. Have a read, and if you find yourself thinking “This seems like just the kind of thing Aunt Agnes would love/hate/delete as appropriate for Xmas” pop along to the Ignite Books shop, where you can buy as many copies as your heart desires. Or pop in to Saturday Books, and get one there.
Anyway, that review….
Shelley would have read this book with approval. As would Dickens. And that other great 19th Century observer and radical Mary Anne Evans aka George Eliot. Its effect is to elevate those lives that offer no promise at all; nevertheless to see in them a sturdiness, and care for others when they themselves are not cared for. This collection searches for the root of social solidarity. It confronts the attempts of the powerful to deceive and divide us. It raises in us a fire equivalent to that of the poet. This is not the smouldering bitterness of resignation. It is the laughter and anger of those who know their time will certainly come.
The process worker in Black Country Lunch Break, in solitude by the summery, verdant canal, realises
I’m nothing special, a simple man
one of the just-about-managing
but moments like these
they make my heart sing.
Though elsewhere, life is seen to demand more from us than appreciation, important though that may be. Enough considers the option of withdrawal from life, of quietism where you will tend vegetables / grow old by the heat of a fire / lose yourself in books / and the view from a window. While at the beginning the speaker’s had enough of the daily grind, by the end there is resolve, to roll up your sleeves / and set to once more.
P.S. You can read all of Enough here on this website. Just click this link.