PASSING THROUGH THE WOODS
Poems by David Gwilym Anthony
Matador/Troubador Publishing £8.99
Poetry can be cryptic, it can be simple and it can lie somewhere in between the two extremes. I like the challenge of obscure poems, most of which leave questions unanswered but I prefer poems that are easy on the eye and accessible to the so-called ordinary man and woman. I enjoy poetry that I can understand after one or two readings. It is no criticism or insult to this fine collection that I whizzed through it at the first reading, before settling down and taking the second and third readings at a more leisurely and contemplative pace.
There is so much to enjoy in David Gwilym Anthony’s latest book. He has a wonderful knack of taking a thought, an observation, an emotion and even a joke, and turning them into interesting and entertaining poems.
He has divided the book into six sections – journeys; partings; seasons; in search of inspiration; perspectives; people and places.
Let me give you an example of a sad poem, “Unsaid”: “Cheerily…charily/friend of my childhood, I/thought of you often yet/left things unsaid. / Lately I looked for you/seeking atonement, and/needing to talk, but I/learned you were dead.”
And a heartbreaking poem, “Mother’s Day”: “I hold the phone remembering - /no need to call today./Routine’s my life raft; as I cling/I hold the phone, remembering/a loss. It is a cruel thing,/this trick the mind can play.”/I hold the phone, remembering./No need to call today.”
And a light poem, “Walking The Dog”; “My aged Lab had ambled on ahead/to greet a passer-by, who paused to pet her./’A little old, a little lame,’ she said./’You’re right,’ said I, ‘nor is my dog much better.’”
One of the many pleasures here is the surprise awaiting you on the next page. It could be light, dark, funny, serious or deeply personal but the one thing you will get to know is that David Gwilym Anthony is a poet to trust. He experiments with form, has a deft hand at rhymes and rhythms, is not afraid to tug at your heart on love and loss, nor is he far away from forcing a smile with an unexpected punchline.
I recommend his book highly.