Monday 17 August 2009

‘I laughed. I scowled. I cried. I loved it’

My favourite critical review of my own poems came during a phone call, when someone told me that they’d made his wife laugh in bed. To get on the cover of a book, a review line usually has to have the name of a newspaper attached to it, or come from someone you’re expected to have heard of, but for an author the most meaningful responses often come from unknown ordinary readers.

Natural Mechanical has two reader reviews on Amazon; both are 5-star. I particularly like this line from one of them: ‘I forgot for most of the time that I was even reading poetry.’ And today I had a postcard from a man who once taught me English, when I was in my teens: ‘I have just finished a second reading of Natural Mechanical. If I thought it extraordinary the first time, the second was even more stunning . . .’

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