Book ReviewOdd Poems and Slogans
Anyone searching for an inspirational gift for a friend, loved one or even themselves in this economically troubled time should consider buying a copy of the recently published Odd Poems and Slogans. This quirky, soul searching, beautifully crafted and produced book of verse consists of 135 selected poems that document the spiritual, emotional and physical life journey of Bali-based Irishman John OíSullivan over a period of one decade.
Like T.S. Eliot, OíSullivan, has managed until now to keep his talents well hidden, beneath a series of successful corporate alter egos for years. The bard within, however, stimulated by the salubrious effect of the 'other' Emerald Isle of his life (Bali), could be repressed no longer. To the surprise of many, who had no idea of his talents, the gregarious Irishman launched his book of verse at the 2008 Ubud Writer's Festival.
For those who delight in the creative destruction and reinvention of language, John's poems will tickle and amuse the ear, heart and mind. Resounding with lyrical passion, irreverence and an irrepressible childlike joy of life, they face in the dark forces of entropy with self-effacing irony. "In a sense, I am not angry; I am numbed", he mutters in "of pain". Elsewhere in "Batavia" he sensibly poses the rhetorical question, "why is there irony in hope?"
Odd Poems and Slogans can be bought in all Periplus Book Shops or ordered directly from O'Sullivan's website [www.irish-poet.com], which also includes a selection of his highly-prized paintings, one of which is featured on the cover of the book. He is booked to read in the upcoming Hong Kong Literary Festival in March and will once again join the 2009 Ubud Readers Festival during which time he will hold a joint exhibition of his paintings with Ida Bagus Indra at Gaya Gallery in Ubud. It would seem that talent is not always dispersed evenly and as the Balinese well know; denying your calling is fraught with danger. John is out of the creative closet and the world is happier for it.
And, yes, this is the same John O'Sullivan who runs both Four Seasons Resorts in Bali, a task performed with poetic elegance, as anyone who's stayed there can confirm.
Qube Press, Singapore, 2008
148 pages, 135 poems.
A Poem by John O'Sullivan
[A Poet for All Four Seasons]
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