I received a review copy ahead of this blog tour, with thanks. This review forms my honest opinion.
I’ve enjoyed The Streets, Like Flowers, Come Alive in the Rain immensely! Poetry bordering on prose, I loved how each poem tells a tiny story of snapshot moments in time; personal experiences, observations of others and everyday occurrences colliding to create a collection which feels both intensely personal and relatable all at once.
The poet has a real talent for pulling out mundane events and flashes of thought and seeking deeper meaning through them. At face value, they can be read as just a poetic story. Wonderfully accessible, and not at all scary to read if daunted by poetry, but then the story kind of settles on you as you mull over the words and something deeper emerges, leading to these lovely little moments of wonder, realisation or even serving as a diving point into something much more personal or meaningful.
Above all, this collection is so very human and covers emotions and situations we face. One of my personal favourites is Nectar, which covers the swift transition to parenthood. There was something so recognisable in the switch from the languorous quiet of the beginning, to the fierce, fiery feel of the ending that was so in line with my own experience, perfectly capturing the feeling of gain and loss occurring simultaneously in a hurried version of a life you’d never accurately imagined as a reality.
On the back of the book, the writer says how the poems come about quickly, but are considered. And I really like that these poems are not the product of hours upon hours of editing, so that they’re picked apart and unrecognisable from that first spark of an idea. In many cases this is the process to follow, and can improve a poem (it definitely does with my own!). But these are different. These are a reflection of snatches of thoughts in a moment and their raw honesty is a huge part of creating the authenticity that flows throughout.
I’ve been merrily dipping into The Streets for a number of weeks, and I think it will be one I will continue to return to, just because it is so unlike any other poetry book I have on my shelves. The surface simplicity belies the depth of feeling these poems convey.
This is a collection with broad appeal, scattered generously with poems to make you think, feel and even laugh.
About the Poet
Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. He is the author of two chapbooks and two collections. Two-time winner of Irish Times’ New Irish Writing, his numerous publication credits include Poetry Ireland Review, Acumen, Westerly, and Into The Void. He has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best New Poet, and has been twice nominated for The Pushcart Prize.