The title Dangerous Dog raises expectations of a certain aggressive, punky aesthetic, which is certainly present, but the collection is richer and broader than that, even surprisingly traditional in places. The poems explore a truly impressive range of themes and moods, from the small-scale and domestic in poems such as ‘Asleep: Breathing Observed’ and ‘Burberry Tie’, to meditations on humankind’s place in the universe and the nature of freedom.
There’s a concreteness to the writing, and a gift for visual imagery. The poems are grounded in a wealth of specific detail, so when David does move into more abstract areas, it feels earned. He is also a musician and some of the poems have been turned into song lyrics, and back into poems again, a process that probably accounts for the metrical discipline and rhythmic vitality of many of the poems. There’s also a music in his control of sound.
The voice is varied and flexible. David assumes different voices
without ever descending into pastiche. But a clear identity is retained
It’s quite a masculine collection of poetry – male anger is a recurring thread – but David does subtly deconstruct masculinity in some unexpected ways.
Dangerous Dog - David Francis
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