AN ORIGINAL, CHARMING AND ILLUMINATING LOOK AT THE POEMS WE LOVE MOST, FOR BETTER OR WORSE
When a painful eye condition forces Gary Dexter to give up his work as a writer, he has to rethink how to earn a living. His solution? Learn as many poems as possible then hit the streets, offering to recite them in return for a cash donation.
A drunk soldier mourning a fallen comrade in Afghanistan requests Auden’s ‘Funeral Blues’ and turns nasty when the nervous performer fluffs a line.
At a service station on the M1, a lady orders him to sway ‘like a daffodil’ as he recites Wordsworth’s classic.
A security guard marches him out of Primark while he defiantly intones ‘Invictus’ by W.E. Henley (‘I am the captain of my soul…’).
In these remarkable meetings of poetry and people, Dexter takes the nation’s poetic pulse, and along the way learns a lot about himself.
A delightful blend of anthology and anecdote, memoir and criticism, The People’s Favourite Poems is a truly original book about the poems we love most, for better or for worse…
Gary Dexter is a literary original. He is the author of several acclaimed works of non-fiction, including Why Not Catch-21? (“Dexter’s gift is actually to shed light on the mysteries of literary creation” Guardian) and At Night: A Guide for the Wakeful (“this strange little book arrives to give us hope and succour” Marcus Berkmann). His fiction includes All the Materials for a Midnight Feast ( “one of the year’s most impressive debuts” Sunday Telegraph) and Natural Desire in Healthy Women: (“This deft and very funny novel features a manically laughing Gandhi, a preposterous H. G. Wells and, most unexpectedly, some very amusing appearances by T. S. Eliot. Bravo!” Daily Mail).
He lives and versifies in Norwich, with occasional forays into London, Devon and Japan.