The Collected Poems of Roger McGough

I always did love Roger McGough. Saw him perform with Messrs Henri and Patten many years ago, and will be seeing him again at the Southbank Centre in June 2011! 🙂


This is a great collected volume, demonstrating for perhaps the first time McGough’s sheer versatility in handling almost any topic for any audience, and that the wit, drollery and deftness of touch for which he is famed often masks very acutely-observed comments on topics of great concern, spoken with depth of understanding rarely matched by allegedly weightier poets. For all the occasional silliness (including the many poems for children), there are tough nuggets of truth within McGough poets that stand out a mile.

For example, I have still never seen a poem describing the truth of relationships better than ‘You & I’; ‘Unlucky for Some’, subtitled ’13 voices from a woman’s hostel in Soho, 1979′, is as heart rending as any verse you will ever read; and McGough’s legendary dissection of a 1960’s Liverpool girl, ‘Valerie’ is scalpel-sharp, even in 2011.

These are but three examples, though there is something everyone can appreciate within this fine collection. Warmly recommended to one and all. 🙂

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