“John Wheway’s first full collection places its trust exactly where it should be: in the poetic present tense where every gnomic detail is magnified, every commonplace brought to its own species of transfiguration. At a time when the lyric is so much in need, he rejuvenates it in its most pellucid and most effortless form; the couplet is reshaped and crystallised, and comes to life. A Bluebottle in Late October is a memorable sequence of poems.” Tim Liardet
“This is a funny, sad, yet uplifting account of how we live and love. Poems by a formidable poet, pulling no punches, yet with a delightful lightness of touch.
Domestic bliss is here, with moments of tenderness and beauty, hopelessness too, and a deep urge to engage. How can we live together? Why do we need to? What compels us?
These poems made me laugh out loud, though their acuity is sobering. We’ll all glimpse ourselves in them. Marked by meticulous diction and vibrant imagery, this is poetry with an authentic voice.” Neil Rollinson
A Bluebottle in Late October is very particular and very human.
A sample poem from A Bluebottle in Late October can be enjoyed below.
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At the mirror, she takes a step back,
like an artist changing places
for a different angle, absorbed
not in herself
but in the portrait’s subject, dabbing
pigment over each cheek, circling
with the tip of her pinkie to reveal
He’d never seen his mother in her,
but now he’s like the boy who watched
the woman in the strapless dress, lips kissed
with Rouge Noir, hurrying
downstairs to the street, bowing
into a waiting taxi. He’d peer
between the curtains, noticing
the eagerness in her pace,
not knowing what it meant,
though he knew she loved to dance,
and that the Polish captain
who gave him that red fire engine
was not his father’s friend.