Poems for the Common Man by Angelique Forbes

Poems 1

I was delighted to be sent this slim volume of poems after National Poetry Day. ‘Poems for the Common Man’ by Angelique Forbes was published by Austin Macauley on 30th September 2015 and is available in both paperpack and ebook.

I rarely read poetry these days after a lifetime of studying and teaching it, so it was a great pleasure to be reminded just how evocative and moving poems can be.

With just a couple of exceptions, Angelique Forbes writes from a first person perspective, making her words all the more intimate and affecting. There are poems of great love, passion, loss and memory. I loved ‘The Pages of Time’ which contains thoughts we’ve all had at some point – do past loves remember us and the line ‘Will his ears’ memory drum with the beat of my voice’ summed up that question perfectly for me.

Angelique Forbes creates a real sense of who she is as a person and her background comes through especially strongly in ‘Childhood Memories’, ‘Mum’ and the dialect written ‘Yuh Waan Cum A Englan?’

The intensity of feeling is conveyed through many references to the abyss, volcanic eruption and oblivion which show just how passionate the writer is. I also liked the variety of style with the use of enjambment as in ‘Mystery’, the staccato lone breaks and repetition for effect so that the depth of emotion, including love and hate, becomes clearer the more times a poem is read.

Angelique Forbes’ poems are moving and accessible. No matter what your attitude to poetry, I think few would argue with the sentiment at the end of KY-ANDREI:

GIVE ME A WORLD WITHOUT/ DEATH, PAIN, HEARTACHE/ AND I GIVE YOU A/ NON-EXISTENT WORLD

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