Thursday, October 27, 2011
Terry Jones: “Furious Resonance”
Terry Jones writes poetry and we made a pact then and there on the train. I was to buy his collection of poems ”Furious Resonance” that was just about to be published in the Poetry Salzburg Pamphlet series, whereas he was to buy the ones of my books that have been published in English. So far I don’t know if he has kept his promise, but I sure have kept mine and what a pleasure it was to read ”Furious Resonance”.
It says on the back of the book that the collection ”explores how the spaces of the past and the present, the personal and the political, the conscious and the unconscious, and the living and the dead re-sound across cultures and languages in sympathy or protest with each other.” Big words, but true as “Furious Resonance” is a remarkable collection of poetry. The twenty-four poems make you think, laugh and listen, because Terry Jones has a way with words. His way of using the English (and German and Xhosa!) language is unique, because this is an intelligent poet with something on his heart and mind and an own voice to express it.
Jones’ poetry flows easily. Notice for instance the almost hypnotical cadence of the long poem “Sun” which prevails despite the huge differences in voice and verse in the four parts of the poem. Or what about the imagery of the poem “Sleep-Talking”? An everyday observation made into art. My own favourite is, however, “Preservations”, an unsettling poem about the burning of dictionaries.
“Furious Resonance” is one of the best collections of poems I have read within recent years and to think; if I hadn’t been on that train going to Birmingham that day in May, I would probably never have read it! So the next time someone asks my why I don’t have a driver’s license, my answer is going to be: because I like good poetry!
Terry Jones: “Furious Resonance”, Poetry Salzburg Pamphlet Series (PSPS) 5, 2011
Four out of five stars: ****
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