Title: Poetry ‘n That
Author: Seána Geri McCloskey
This collection of short poems cover a diverse array of topics, discussing Brexit, Theresa May’s time as prime minister, Scottish independence, and the plight of the downtrodden during Christmas over the course of its pages.
The author approaches politics, love, sex, and social expectations candidly, though the expletives are modified, interspersed with asterisks, which is unusual for a work expressly designated for those eighteen-years-old and up. The poems discuss politics with little appreciation for the monarchy or Tory government, though they seem designed to make the poetic messages as enjoyable as possible without watering down the author’s convictions, to where the focus is more on change than on blaming the voters.
The poems have a generally positive tone, though poignant at times, especially when discussing the glory of Scotland and how things have changed since the nation became part of Great Britain. Overall, the collection is life affirming, urging readers to have a positive outlook on humanity at large, though it deprecates the actions of the elite 1% with a decidedly satirical flair.
The author primarily relies on rhymes, either direct or slant, for the poems, and there is no blank verse to be found in the collection. Similarly, the perspectives of the poems could be more diverse, as they are almost uniformly in a Scottish dialect, with references that might be hard to follow for those unfamiliar with British politics or history, though a glossary is included to assist readers.
The rhyming schemes of the poems vary somewhat, though most are in a form of quatrain or modified couplet. This can make the rhymes themselves feel very similar, to where one might wish the poet varied the scheme more. Similarly, one could wish the poet paid more attention to the meter of the poems, as some lines were longer than others and, at times, it felt that the poet was only striving to make the lines rhyme, nothing more.
Despite frequently discussing a state of affairs that, as presented, is far from ideal, the poet manages to maintain an optimistic tone, seeming to encourage readers to action, to engage in life rather than despair. The topics are primarily contemporary in focus, but the collection includes some works focused on historical events, including John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the 1936 Summer Olympics.
And the author’s perspective does vary, from expressing the viewpoint of a husband left by his wife with a broken home and kids to raise to a positive view of women who care for their families and how independent and mighty they are. One discusses where biscuits are made while another evaluates the importance of Scottish independence or the greed of shoppers on Black Friday. The author compares the lives of the privileged versus those in need, highlights the challenges faced by those who want to wear girls’ clothes, and discusses the lack of commitment from “keyboard warriors” with equal enthusiasm.
Readers who enjoy the heartfelt observations and opinions of an outspoken artist will enjoy these poems. They’re vibrant, colorful, and culturally-sensitive while reflecting upon universal ideas like freedom, life, and love.
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