Brian Swann's poetry deserves the widest possible readership. He is a master poet who reaches down deep to articulate the experiences of childhood and maturity. I was very fortunate to share some of his younger days with him when we were at school and university, and reading this verse is to be reminded of so many of my own memories. He taught me so much at all times about literature and now, through his extraordinarily powerful poetry, he re-creates the torments and pangs of time past, of separation from family and roots, of love and despair remembered, of missed opportunities, of lost relatives and dead ones, of the wounds inflicted by experiences, all projected in a vigorous dynamic style that is entirely his own voice. Brian Swann is a prolific poet and his insights emerge in a torrent as from a perpetual fountain, overwhelming the reader, disturbing one's inner being and yet clarifying the dilemmas posed by the passing of time, the pangs of bitter memory, the pain of existence. His poetry remains like music in the ear after reading and his insights cut like a knife. His direct sparse style, almost invariably set in tightly controlled free verse, compels close attention and much reflection. He is a marvellous poet, ironic, humorous and deeply passionate in the most unexpected way, his verse creating a profound impact on one's inner feelings, disturbing and resolving the tensions expressed in his art.
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