‘As Far As I Know’
By Roger McGough
Published by Penguin Books
RRP £8.99 (paperback)
Reviewed by Lynsey Evans
Roger McGough is one of the UK's best-known poets; there is an anticipation, an expectation even, of what his latest poetry collection ‘As Far As I Know’ would deliver ... I loved it, it certainly doesn’t disappoint!
The book kicks off with ‘Take Comfort’, a poem about looking on the bright side of things, finding a positive in a negative and appreciating your situation isn’t as bad as others - “not a letter from the hospital. The results devastating" and “a child’s arm thrust from the rubble” ... “you have a book in your hand. Take comfort from this”. This sets the theme, of looking at life, past and present, from a different viewpoint and other’s viewpoints too It’s nostalgic yet fresh at the same time. McGough’s poems often have a twist in them, cleverly used word play that seem dreamy at first before packing you with a punch of emotion.
The poems vary from youthful memories to modern events, such as ‘They Came Out Singing’, to getting older and those around you ageing to and how this affects life over time, such as ‘A Cold Calling’, which is such a simple but hugely effective poem, it is one of the poems that stood out to me from the whole collection. If you are also a fan of art, the Surrealists selection of poems are for you! There is a great selection of poems – some witty, some humorous, others thought-provoking, all in balance and all of which were immensely enjoyable.
Highly recommended for readers aged 14+
You can find out more about 'As Far As I Know' and order it here.
You can find out more about Roger McGough and his work at http://www.uktouring.org.uk/rogermcgough/