I’ve taken a long time to write this one up. But it is a book of poems, so my excuse is that I read it in fits and bursts, on my commute as well as in bed, savouring it slowly. When Dane Cobain, the poet, asked me to review it, I expected something, I don’t know what the word for it is, traditional. But this book has been a pleasant surprise on that front. Allow me to elaborate by using some examples.
There’s no such thing as a gentleman
just men and women
stumbling through life
in the same way they always have.
Welcome to society,
our capitalistic, gender-neutral
we are all equal
in our misery.
I thought these lines were beautiful, but sad, accepting, but rebellious. It is the harsh reality of our times, put quite in a brutally honest way. I haven’t read something like this for a while. Read this
Then the web hit its terrible teens
and we signed up en masse
to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,
Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat
and now our fragmented entities
are just stressful lives
lived out in public;
mass hallucinations and delirium
pulling us together and
pushing us apart.
Another set of lines that struck a chord for me. But it is not just the online world that Cobain rips apart. It is everything from religion to region, with a good measure of myth and mystery. Some of it is also very personal, very intimate, like having a drink with the poet and the things he might let spill over it.
I’ll leave you with a small set of lines which could be quite controversial, but are especially relevant with so many upcoming referendums and elections.
is only for the British,
then I’m no longer
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have a soft corner for poetry and Cobain weaves his frustrations with the modern world deftly into stanzas which come across as masterfully crafted.