This was my last PBS choice, and though it arrived a little while back, I d not had time to really read it So glad I have now, though, as I very much enjoyed it I m left with several memorable images, and am especially taken with the short poem Moles A small volume but packed with good stuff. The Dark Film is written in very clear, simple, lucid language It s an easy read I enjoyed not having to dip into a dictionary or Google names of things and this might be why I felt this book had a lovely flow to it even though it covers a very wide range of topics.Paul Farley often likes to startle the reader by opening a poem with an unusual, sometimes bizarre, image This is what grabs your attention and draws you into the poem initially The poem Brent Crude begins Each one of us could fit inside a barrel,assume foetal positions, elbows in,suspended in the sweet and viscous black At other times he creates a sense of immediacy and movement, another way of drawing you in, as in The Cellar Mind your head The ceiling is low.Slowly down the gritty steps However, I rarely reached the end one of these poems feeling fully satisfied or wowed Why Well, I got the feeling that Paul Farley too often skimmed across the surface of a topic or theme, and then tied the poem up before he risked losing the reader s attention In a way, these poems are too easy to read.In Outside Cow Ark, for example, which is one of the loveliest poems in the collection, Farley develops a theme about the life force operating in different creatures Is mine the only heart out in this weather He begins to ponder how human hearts, built for the long haul, must be perceived by creatures with shorter life spans The poem ends there We end up with a neat and tidy three stanza poem hinged around a interesting but ultimately rather inconsequential thought, which could have been developed into something much greater.By the end of The Dark Film I still had the feeling of dissatisfaction It s not a book which has left a deep impression on me There aren t any poems in here that I feel the urge to go back and re read Still, each poem is, on its own account, well made, clever and often entertaining Like I said, it s an easy read.Five Words that describe this book startling, nostalgic, playful, surface, unsatisfying.Stand Out Poems The Power Outside Cow Ark Creep Killer Line Now look around your tiny room and tell me that you haven t got the power from The Power There is a long standing rule in show business that you should never open with the headliner While I enjoyed much of this collection, nothing in the book could come close to the jolt delivered by the first poem The Power is a sensational piece of work That said, this is a thrilling book of poetry and Farley is finding a consistent and engaging personal voice, one that can look back neither in anger nor nostalgia And as a cheeky contribution to this year s Jubilee celebrations, I also quite enjoyed The Queen. Just excellent Evocative, satisfying and approachable My first time reading Paul Farley s work, and I will go back for. an absolutely stunning work, the poems are so incredibly evocative, or perhaps that should be invocative, that even the ones that don t describe sounds or music, seem to conjure, it is among the best collections that i ve ever read. Love his poetry, a couple of really humorous pieces in here A Thousand Lines and a real sense of time and place captured. Like the bloke, like his radio pieces bought the book to take on holiday, I like the poems Going back to them again and again to just read one or even a snippet that has stuck in my head. There s some good writing in here but generally it didn t really resonate with me. Paul Farley S Great Poetic Gift Is His Ability To Switch Between The Local And The Universal, The Present And The Historical Past, Bringing To Our Attention Things Previously Hidden The Dark Film Is A Profound Meditation On Time, On The Untold Stories Of Our History, And On The Act Of Human Beholding
Paul Farley is the author of four collections of poetry and has received the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Whitbread Poetry Award and the E.M Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
- 56 pages
- The Dark Film
- Paul Farley
- 13 July 2017 Paul Farley