My second venture into the world of poetry is by Niall O’Sullivan, a man who is well known as the compere of London’s longest-running poetry open mic’, ‘Poetry Unplugged’. This 87paged volume entitled ‘Werewolf Of London’ is a collection of older poems, and more up to the minute renditions.
O’Sullivan has an edge that tells of him making his way through the London where he lives, fatherhood, politics, death, macabre history, in fact a whole gamut of strange, maybe slightly off-kilter renditions that delight the reader once engaged with O’Sullivan.
I read the book twice in quick succession, a few, I actually re-read straight away again. Maybe I did not fully understand what he was getting at, or perhaps did not understand at all. Whatever the reader gleans from the narrative, it is a personal thing, both from the author, and the reader, trying to decipher the image painted purely with carefully chosen words.
This book is different to my extremely limited experience, but a worthy beginning for me to better understand the multiple vagaries of poetry. I particularly enjoyed one poem entitled ‘ A 1956 edition of Moby Dick recalls its many years at Clapham Library’, I think I may have read it now some fifteen times in a week. O’Sullivan does not hold back where needed, sometimes gritty, sometimes erring on the cruder side, but very, very intelligent, and thoughtful. I give it an inexpert ten out of ten.
Review by Reg Seward
Published by Flipped Eye Publishing Limited (25 Mar. 2021)
Paperback, ISBN 978-1905233625