NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
ROGER ELKIN: NO LAUGHING MATTER
Cinnamon Press
Ty Meiron
Glan yr Afon
Tanygrisiau
Blaenau Ffestiniog
Gwynedd
LL41 3SU
UK
ISBN 978 1 905614 34 9
7.99

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This page last updated: 14th December 2007.
ROGER ELKIN: NO LAUGHING MATTER

I'm really impressed that Roger Elkin has won over 70 prizes in national and international poetry competitions and that he has been published in journals all over the globe. He's obviously an accomplished writer. Unfortunately I found it difficult to get into this latest offering. I'd lay it aside and come back to it. But every time I picked it up it failed to do it for me. And what's worrying is that I can't for the life of me nail down the exact reason why. And that disturbs me.

It seems to me to be two books cobbled together into one. The second part is a kind of hobby gardener's poetry full of green and rustic verse which I quite liked; something for all moods and seasons. But when I got away from the cyclamens and gentians it was a case that as Elkin says in one of his poems:

	stone walls loom out
and that's a symptom of my problem. The rest was more than just not my cup of tea. It may be that the jokes didn't work for me. In the very first poem DEAF-AND-DUMB MAN'S HANDS the line:
	his fingers itch for conversation 
was for me a complete turn-off. I find this kind of schoolboy howler naffness crass in the extreme.

It's tempting to think that having filled his poetic house with laurels Elkin may now be resting on them.

On the bright side, the cover picture of the scarlet macaw is excellently eye-catching.

reviewer: Gwilym Williams.