Friday, 21 July 2017

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Before I get cracking, this is not a literary review. I know a lot of you come here looking for high-brow criticism and insights, so, you know, I just wanted to let you down gently.

I'm going to be talking about Robert Sheppard's Petrarch 3, though, which is literary. I'm a big fan, I must say. I've been to a few readings and seen him perform from this, and it was brilliant, from the laughter at a poem from a dog's point of view, to the particular silence one feels after a sonnet addresses Jimmy Saville in, well, in quite the way he does... I'm sure there's loads of people more qualified than me that have reviewed his work, so I'm not going to do that here. Instead, I wanted to say how refreshing it was.

I've been in some trouble lately. Almost everything has been getting me down, from sunsets to birds gaily tweeting, and the carefree way a child, er, bounces a ball... Or something... But the things that really trouble me are love songs (though music in general has plenty of thorns). Whether they're about unrivalled beauty and devotion, or about the hurtiest pain and wanting to end it all, they've all been getting me teary. It seems that when you're bleeding, the world is full of sharks sniffing your lost liquids (or a more appropriate and well-formed analogy).

When Petrarch 3 came in the post the other day, though, it was full of pointed references to pain, to loss, to love, to awe and more, and yet it did not cause an avalanche in me. Here was love and its process presented, despite having been processed, in all its allusory [to the 'original translation' - the one Sheppard uses, anyway] and thematic power, yet I enjoyed it without pain. The idea of being stung after self-acknowledging your supposed sense of security - the way it happens in Petrarch's third sonnet - is real for many of us, and certainly made me think back to just over a year ago, but it didn't pull at the thread of me, making me fall apart.

I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think it was Sheppard's original intention to give me work about love that didn't upset me. I might be wrong, but I think he just wanted to write good poetry. Well, he's done both, just in case you wanted to know, and I think it's a welcome change.

G'night folks! Peace, love and light.


  1. I'm curious to read the one about the dogs point of view. I'm off to ask you a dumb question on your Facebook. Never give up writing, I love your style.

    1. Thank you kindly! I've replied on there now - hope you like it!


Just keep it clean (ish)!