Rhyme and reason

Charles Cowling


There’s a new collection of poems out from Roger McGough.

I like him. I’ve always thought him admirable for his craftsmanship (there’s a lot that doesn’t meet the eye) and his humanity. And his accessibility, of course. He’s a great poet.

Many of the new poems are imbued with his characteristic whimsy, but they’re also darker. Roger stands quite close to death these days (on account of his age). ‘Let me die a youngman’s death’ has yielded to stuff like this:

I don’t want any of that
‘We’re gathered here today
to celebrate his life, not mourn his passing.’
Oh yes you are. Get one thing straight,
you’re not here to celebrate but to mourn until it hurts.

… … … …

Don’t dwell on my past but your future.
For what you see is what you’ll be
and sooner than you think.
So get weeping. Fill yourselves with dread.
For I am not sleeping. I am dead.

‘That Awkward Age’. Out now. Recommended.

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