Juke James Esq.
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Juke’s anthology of poems is a collection that is quite conventional
be considered ‘radical’. The poems observe such themes as:
'Place', 'Addiction', 'Capitalism', 'Love' and ‘Religion'.
I found the collection quite easy and fluid to read. The emphasis tended
to be primarily on content. In terms of form and layout, each poem is
centred down the middle of the page and either written in one continual
stanza or divided into two or six stanzas. The poems range from free verse
- e.g. ‘The Professional’ - to rhyming and repetition as in
the poem 'A Kiss on the Mouth'.
You’re too intense
You’re very deep
You’re far too serious
And you never sleep
Alliteration is used frequently to create some nice sound effects as
in: 'Soap stars, Irish bars, the FCUK concept of self' (p.15). Some interesting
traditional techniques arise such as assonance and simile as in: 'Exhaling
plumes of loud, blue laughter' (p.22).
I confess I am not too fond of the use of pronouns at the beginning of
the lines in a poem but I noticed Juke used them so often that it seemed
to me that they became a significant part of the language.
I think the main success of the collection would be the writer’s
ability to communicate the meaning. Juke uses a strong confidant voice,
in some poems such as 'NOMANDOG' (Black, White & Grey), his poems
at times trailing between personal feeling and becoming quite didactic
at times. I wasn’t too happy with singular gender use of the word
'man' (a bit archaic not only as a discourse but also in terms of language)
being used in this poem. Even so, his poems came across clear and unambiguous.
The drawings by artist John O’Neill were of a woodcut effect, similar
to the turn of 20th century expressionists. I enjoyed these drawings for
their ambiguity and experimentation. Overall, a readable collection of
poems and visual art.