Poetry chapbook from John Bartlett

Songs of the Godforsaken is a new chapbook of poems from Bent Street contributor John Bartlett. The collection, published by Picaro Poets, put me [GT] in mind of a lovely collection – Heaven’s Backyard by David Lander (Collins Dove 1984). John catches a poetic thermal from St Augustine, the prophets and the Evangelists, as well as suicide bombers, iPhone upgrades, and refugees who fall from aeroplanes. He reflects on his father, on people no longer with us, yet who remain to trouble our journey. Hints of late Clive James. A fantastic collection with memorable words and images. Nature and popular culture rub shoulders here, and there are warm/hot night encounters for the discerning reader. I particularly liked ‘The Song The Wind Sings’ (‘You hear them on train tracks / those voices of departure, / the songs of farewell …’). Visit John at https://beyondtheestuary.com/ and listen to his podcasts, or buy the chapbook.

[Gordon Thompson – Publisher, Clouds of Magellan]

One thought on “Poetry chapbook from John Bartlett

  1. Songs of the Godforsaken. John Bartlett. PICARO POETS.

    This collection is dedicated ‘to the nameless who struggle daily for human rights, dignity and equality’. These poems explore themes of injustice and prejudice. Some of the subject matter includes the environment, sexual identity and authoritarian regimes. Examples of these themes are found in the final poem of the collection: A Year of Masks. The poems that address these values are acutely observed. Importantly they carry no judgment or blame.

    There are references to religious faith and to the scriptures. The opening poem; your name echoes C.P. Cavafy’s 1911 poem God Abandons Antony.

    The use of personal memory is evident in many poems, evoking beginnings, endings, loss and regret. The lyrical The Song the Wind Sings encompasses these themes in its gentle rhythms.

    A wide ranging thoughtful collection taking us on a deeply engaging journey. (Yvonne Adami)


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