IN PRAISE OF RIDICULE

(a selection)

Poetry by Rhys Hughes

Illustrated by Carole Humphreys

Reviewed by Sue Phillips

This well named collection contains fourteen quirky poems that almost make sense. Fortunately they fall just slightly west of sanity. The first, And My Foot Walked Off Without Me, is a prime example. We begin with the narrator standing at a bus stop in the rain, when his foot detaches itself and abandons him to live independently for several years before returning. Monkey from a Cannon is very silly--or very clever. In this poem the narrator is a zookeeper, unable, apparently, to distinguish between apes and monkeys. Now, either Hughes is ignorant on this point or is adding another, subtle layer of the ridiculous. I choose to believe the latter. Of the fourteen, The Wild Hunt is probably the sanest piece, but it is a very good poem regardless.

An impressive collection from an impressive writer and with some empathic illustrations by Carole Humphreys.

In Praise of Ridicule, A5, 32pp, £1.00 incl p&p

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