From a recent radio news report to the ruminations of a seventh-century saint, the themes of Tom French’s first collection are distinctive and uncommonly wide-ranging.
Straddling the quotidian and classical worlds, his poems embrace a Siberian legend, reflections on twentieth-century wars, intricate family bonds, commemorations of fellow artists, and the domestic lives of newly-weds. The title poem’s attention to a ‘great majestic grief’ is typical of this author’s concerns.
Touching the Bones includes also a number of delicate sequences and his extended rant, ‘Pity the Bastards’, addressing modern values and frustrations. Readers of Tom French’s poems in magazines and audiences of his readings have looked forward to this publication. In work marked by honesty and a sense of dignity, faiths are tested and tried — and found to be strong.