by Philip Ruthen

Reviewed by Emile Sercombe

(Emile Sercombe is a poet, artist, performer of poetry and lecturer in poetry teaching)



If you see him the twinkly-eyed typist one finger stub-stabbing at the keyboard, or as the expert who describes and advises us about our rights, or as the friend who enjoys talking with us over a smoke outside, then look again.

This is Phil the poet. 


 Apple Eye Feast is a slim volume

– as books of poetry always are – but its voluminous, fifty-five pages full of ideas, places, people, sights, memories, and stories. 

There are large things and small; granite lockgates tower over in a giant lock, fish are sucking the river surface; EU funding for childcare goes walkabout, and a Bulgarian infant dies in the street. 

A man with causes – angry with society’s indifference to disability for example – he shouts at politicians, skewers jobsworths. He loves land and city, windows onto the Shannon as the light changes, sees class divide in our London streets. 

He suggests we see through the eyes of children, admire their play; and celebrates grand occasions – writes of love and tenderness. He cares. 

Every word we use means another – imagine the poet saying, “be patient why shouldn’t it have another life”. So we are surprised with words – which hook onto other words – and ideas reach out to other ideas, and soon places, events and things take on stranger meanings.

He is funny too – there is a wicked story about how he got his middle name – and sometimes surreal as well. How we are all sold culture? Its like this says Philip:

                        Place a female virtuoso cello player

on the upslope –

rapt –             magnetism settles on us 

This book is like one of his poems: a helter-skelter, but when we get off we know we have been to places interesting and real.  

Emile Sercombe 27 07 2012

The book is available from thepublisher or the author:

Waterloo Press

ISBN 978-1-906742-14-0  


 From Author:

** £8.00 plus p&p direct from author

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