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Odd Socks - Quite funny poems

By John Robert Brown

Illustrated by Harry Venning

Iron Press

Published November 2018

ISBN 978-0-99-545794-2

£8.00

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Odd Socks

Odd Socks is the first collection of comic verse by John Robert Brown.

Enjoy a journey around Brown's special world as he considers the arrival of traffic roundabouts in Japan in 2013, contemplates the uniqueness of Nuneaton and in literate and carefully-crafted verses, muses on the correct spelling and pronunciation of 'aitch'. In these pages we also meet a Blemya, (the mythical man with no head), are invited to consider the atheist views of academic Dr. Richard Dawkins, whose habit is wearing the odd socks of the title. We learn also about the 'pullet surprise' of American jazzman Ornette Coleman, and are introduced to ingenious anagrams devised by another world-famous musician.

John Robert Brown also shares the delights of enduring an intrusive medical inspection by way of an endoscope, takes a look in Who's Who, and considers the experience of reading music at Oxford. Odd Socks is a welcome addition to that too small community of intelligent and witty poets.

Several of the poems are enhanced by the cartoons of Harry Venning, who created the famous Clare in the Community series in The Guardian and on BBC Radio Four.

Warm, witty and sometimes waspish, this collection of poems draws upon life as it is today: Not always predictable. Sometimes, we all face everyday vicissitudes by laughing if only to keep from crying, and the author helps us do this. Brown spent many years in music - as performer, educator, broadcaster - and unsurprisingly those poems that depict aspects of that world are especially engaging.

The redoubtable local publishers IRON Press continue to provide a platform for poets who might otherwise have fallen down the back of the settee, and in John Robert Brown they have a real gem. As the subheading of this collection indicates, humour is his particular forte and he wields it with dashing aplomb. Using short verse, which gets in and out with the minimum of fuss, he pinpoints universal truths: 'is socks too short, / His legs so white, / Crossed legs reveal / An ugly sight.' (Short Socks).
He is also given to asking the most pertinent of questions: 'The Cormorant perches by the lake / Her wings spread wide for drying. / I wonder why she doesnt try / to dry wet wings by flying?' He muses on Footwear At The Airport, Button Down Collars and why no one ever writes verse about Nuneaton (except himself, of course). It's a witty collection, but sharply observed too, which gives the reader plenty of food for thought among all of the laughs.

Odd Socks is available to buy online direct from the publisher Iron Press - Odd Socks or from Impress Books - Odd Socks

Come and meet the author at one of the scheduled book readings.

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