Poetry is the music of oratory Poetry is the lightening bolt between the head and heart of man"
Well, I don't know about "music of oratory", but Tim Shadbolt does dispense a few lightning bolts to both head and heart throughout this latest book. Concrete Reality is as gutsy and honest as Bullshit and Jellybeans. It almost restores my faith in middle-class suburbanites, when people who think and write like Shadbolt can enjoy it: "A very ordinary life - I like its practical simplicity - its soft, white Sunday bread - the kids playing in the streets - totally involved in their own scenes - I like having neighbours, close but distant." Basically, Concrete Reality is a collection of poems and comments by Tim Shadbolt, with a little help from a friend or two. Most of the book is political in a broad sense. He seems mainly concerned with the lives of people caught up in things they don't understand and having to fight their way out of it. Issues covered include things like whale killing, Maori land, Mangere Bridge, and Nambassa. Don't look for honey-sweet love poetry in this collection - Shadbolt sees life as a struggle that he is wholly committed to. But as he says: "Politics is life... Without politics, you are already half dead." Probably my favourite bit was a piece about a van Gogh exhibition - a delightful comment on the inability of bureaucracies to handle anyone who rocks the boats of organisation."
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