Book review: We All Have Our Moments: An Antidote to Life's Frustrations byÂ Liz Cowley
We've all been there... the computer won't play ball, the checkout chatterer is causing you grief and the teens are having tantrums.
With her usual style, warmth and wit, people’s poet Liz Cowley puts those familiar everyday frustrations into words... and not just any old words.
The inventive wordsmith who brought us the green-fingered anthologies Outside in My Dressing Gown and Gardening in Slippers has turned her acutely observant eye to life’s bittersweet daily moments of pleasure, conflict and disappointment.
This new, piercingly honest and heartwarming collection of poems makes glorious rhyme and reason of the big and small things that make us laugh, cry, despair and simply delight in our shared humanity.
There is no hiding place for human foibles, frustrations and fears as Cowley aims her fire at friends who chatter through nights at the theatre, beds scattered with unnecessary cushions, people who talk on their mobiles at mealtimes, men who always have to win and the dreaded office ‘bonding’ days.
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But there are also the tender moments of sharing our lives with friends and family… falling in love, motherhood, sadness, painful regrets, the loss of loved ones, the challenges of retirement and the pains of growing older.
‘Tiny fragments make up lifetimes –
A moment here, a moment there,
And in the end, a mass of them
Swirl just like snowflakes in the air.’
From the prosaic and sardonic to the eloquent and elevating, these are clever, candid poems that articulate emotions and experiences many will recognise but may struggle to voice so precisely.
Every landmark moment of life’s journey comes under Cowley’s verbal microscope, from childhood and youth, first loves and lost loves, through working life and married life, to ageing and death, and all are closely examined without losing sight of the author’s joyful sense of fun and optimism.
Warm, compassionate, poignant and accessible, this clever collection is the perfect gift for lovers of verse, and anyone who ever marvelled at ‘what a piece of work’ is a human.
(Gibson Square Books, hardback, £9.99)