Silences and nonsenses
Collected poetry, doggerel and whimsy
A knowing wink
SILENCES AND NONSENSES
Collected poetry, doggerel, and whimsy
By Adrian Plass
Authentic Media. 208 pages. £10.99
Most of us know Adrian Plass from his book, The Secret Diary of Adrian Plass, a Christian Speaker, aged 45 . However, in Silences and Nonsenses we discover that Plass is also a prolific writer of poetry.
Covering the last 25 years of his endeavours, it is an insight into the author’s Christian faith, his view of the church scene, life in general and his life in its various stages. All of these areas are explored with honesty, self-deprecation and a light-hearted humour which veers from amused wryness to unabashed silliness.
I confess I did not warm to this book when I first started reading it, one reason undoubtedly being that, like many of us, I am little used to sitting down and reading a whole book of poetry. I also found the author’s use of forced rhyming and repetition in some poems (such as ‘Stress’) rather jarring. However, I suspect that these poems would come over far better in the performance context, as would the funnier, more playful poems such as ‘Anglican Alphabet’ or ‘United in Glory’.
I also had a couple of theological niggles in the book: one arising from the poem ‘I cannot make you love me’, where Plass contrasts the enormity of Jesus’s power with the suggestion that Jesus cannot make us love him. While Plass is right to say that Jesus does not force us to love him in a robotic way, it must be acknowledged that, left to ourselves, we could never love him. We need his gracious power to enable us to turn from our love of self and fall in love in with him.
Niggles aside, this is an intriguing book. Not many authors can tackle serious, often sad subjects with such forthright self-awareness and what I would call the written equivalent of a knowing wink...