The Thin Boy & Other Poems (2014)

Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 [Issue #49] (October 2014)

Books and Magazines in brief:

John Gibb. The Thin Boy & Other Poems. ISBN 978-0-473-27736-9. Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2014.

John Gibb: The Thin Boy & Other Poems (2014)

There’s something rather macabre and forbidding about John Gibb’s imagination: something a little reminiscent of the doomed landscape of spies and gasworks in the poetry of the young W. H. Auden, perhaps:
You went out to track down old friends
Who, even in the three months since you left town,
Have shifted house, changed phone numbers …
Naturally it does them no good. While you
were away you have become equally determined
… like an accomplished encyclopedia salesman [“Homecoming,” p.7]

Or the nightmarishly nondescript desert island in “Ashore,” where “:No long-lost friend or significant stranger / Stood on the skyline / Or miraculously descended the steep bluffs / Picking his way towards me / With a walking stick / Souvenired from a silent parsonage.” If it weren’t for an almost Beckettian quality to the author’s black humour, his book would be intolerable. Instead it’s guardedly amusing.


Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 1 [Issue #49]. ISSN 0114-5770 (2014): 229.

[161 wds]

Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 (2014)

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