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Days Like These


The poetry I’m reading at the moment is Days Like These by Brian Bilston. Bilston is someone whose work I have often seen on Facebook and Twitter (you know, the one presently being called X) but I spotted the book in the local library the other day and, having enjoyed most of the individual poems I’d read, it was an obvious choice to borrow.

The shtick of the work is that it contains one poem for each day of the year (including leap years). So far, I’m up to about mid-March and, if I’m honest, many of the entries aren’t ones I’ll rush back to read again. However, it is worth putting that in perspective. How many creative people manage to “knock it out of the park” according your tastes with every work they create? The more you know their body of work, the more likely you’ll come across some that are, for you at least, duds. Even in the things I create myself, I don’t have a 100% record of pleasing myself so I’d still count Bilston’s collection as one worth reading.

Out of those which I’ve particularly enjoyed some are purely for the comedic effect, like the one for pancake day / shrove Tuesday. As a movable feast, Bilston has just opted for a date when it could appear and then arranged for the short poem to be printed upside down, like a pancake stuck on the ceiling. Simple but smile-worthy. There are more poignant ones too. I can’t remember which day it was but there was a piece ostensibly about Paddington Bear but really challenging those who love this children’s book character but aren’t willing to offer a welcome to flesh and blood refugees. For me, those are the real gems and I am sure I will discover a few more by the time I reach 31 December.

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