I Don’t Like Poetry by Joshua Seigal (Bloomsbury)
I had to read this book twice before I could make up my mind whether I liked the poems a little or a lot. Happily, I can report that the verses I wasn’t sure about grew on me. I knew I should love them all right from the start because Michael Rosen says, “When you read this book, the windows will burp and the grass will turn blue. That’s how magic these poems are.” Well, my windows are intact and the grass is still green (and shouldn’t that be “magical”?) but I have found myself returning again and again to several of the poems in this solo collection and one or two of them are rapidly becoming favourites. I now know why I found some of them difficult to like – they touched a raw nerve: I didn’t want to remember how worrying being a child could be (Not a Care in the World) nor how I used to say I felt sick when really I meant I was upset (Lies) nor how sad I was when pupils used to goad one of my friends into a violent rage (Bad Day). Those are not happy memories. But these are poems about real life. Some are light and funny. But many are rather serious. Very clever.