DOROTHY POPE: THE FOURTH MAN
Harrow on the Hill
ISBN 0 9542719 0 4
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This page last updated: 10th December 2007.
|DOROTHY POPE: THE FOURTH MAN|
This collection gathers together fifty two poems by Dorothy Pope and is a reprint of a collection first published in 2002, suggesting that the collection has been popular with readers. Most of the poems are derived from personal experience and many are inspired by Pope's empathy for those not so fortunate.
THE STATUES calls to mind Didi and Gogo from WAITING FOR GODOT as a moving tableau of two wretches captured in a back alley sharing what little possessions they have. These men are juxtaposed with the earlier setting of Victoria Embankment statues of distinguished men. The reader draws the conclusion of how achievements do tend to be judged by society.
CHRISTMAS 1967 lovingly describes wish fulfilment from a parent's eyes and makes the important point about how sometimes the granting of
a little miraclein circumstances where denial is usually the norm, might just provoke the situation where:
you could go on to achieve your big one.This telling poem subtly shows how far into the 20th century those heavy Victorian attitudes of spare the rod, spoil the child continued.
ANTHEM TO THE FIRST DROPS OF RAIN recalls Betjeman's SLOUGH, with Pope's opening:
Come, Rain my friend, and drive inside All noise-polluting neighboursThis poem uses the same humour as Betjeman's to discredit the sunny weekend days which attract humanity out of doors to mow gardens, wash cars and generally destroy any enjoyment of fine weather in a built up area. Rain allows the poem's persona to enjoy
droplets on my faceand
therapeutic natural scents.There is also a great deal of individual recollection in this collection, stretching from memories of WWII right up to the present day, using both formed and free verse. THE FOURTH MAN represents a life very thoroughly lived and is a rich and varied collection of thoughtful poetry.
|reviewer: Barbara Smith.|