'You must not take me at my word, / you must take me at my lack of word, / you must take me at my music.' In Nuncle Music, a sequence of monologues 'spoken' by the composer Dmitri Shostakovich, Gareth Reeves presents the psychodrama of an artist forced into the service of tyranny. Though the terror and intrigue of Soviet life haunt the poetry, acerbic wit and mischief are also here: Hamlet farts through a flute, Stalin plays the triangle, and up in space cosmonaut Gagarin sings a song by Shostakovich of 'intergalactic platitudes'. Barrie Ormsby's drawings provide a vivid accompaniment to Reeves' poems. // 'It isn't easy for a poet to keep faith with Shostakovich, for whom words solved nothing, whose resort was music and, beyond that, self-defeatingly and only in imagination, silence. Reeves does just that. His is a portrait of paranoia, personal and political, presented with a verbal gusto that echoes the composer's own. Immerse yourself in Nuncle Music and then go to meet the maker of that music - in the opening nocturne of the first violin concerto, say - and know the music, with its odd and lovely resolutions, for the one resort it was and is.' (Gillian Allnutt)
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|Size: ||4.2 MB|
|Publisher: ||Carcanet Poetry|
|Date published: || 2016|
|ISBN: ||9781784104559 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|