The Thing Is
by John Murphy
The poems in this book focus on different aspects of the self, influenced by culture, art, politics and language. There are poems that examine the ... Show synopsis The poems in this book focus on different aspects of the self, influenced by culture, art, politics and language. There are poems that examine the relationship between the artist and art: a Michelangelo sculpture describes its maker, Frida Khalo faces her image in one of her canvases. The political self is evident in poems about the Berlin wall and its eventual destruction and the impact of death by sniper bullet in Sarajevo. The relationship between language and culture is another theme developed in the book: a famous American poet looks back over his life, a teacher struggles to enthuse his class with a poem. Overall then, the poems examine the inner life of the individual, the impact of cause and effect on the psyche and how we often have to struggle to achieve happiness. John Murphy was born in Kingston-on-Thames and after years of living in various parts of London and Essex is now back in the family home. He entered Essex University as a mature student, discovered he was quite good at it and eventually emerged with a PhD in American poetry. He has lectured in English and American literature and Creative writing and now in semi-retirement, enjoys teaching bass guitar and playing bass in JJ and The Jukes.