I first encountered Oscar’s work on his blog (http://oscarsparrow.wordpress.com/) an erudite and amusing read. He has a depth and a breadth of knowledge that discretely underpins his writing and makes his posts a joy to read.
That said I want to talk about his poetry. There is a quiet humour to his work and his love of puns brings a smile to my face, the fact that his blog is entitled A View From the Bridge of My Nose illustrates his easy way with humour.
Oscar has a book of poetry available on line and as a proper book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=ntt_at_ep_srch?_encoding=UTF8&sort=relevancerank&search-alias=books&field-author=Oscar%20Sparrow) I Threw a Stone. I have to say that I found that once I had started it I wanted it to go on and on. This is a very varied collection, unusually for me, I read it over two sittings. This is not normally how I read poetry, I tend to read a couple of poems then put the book aside and let them mull through my brain for a while. Not so with this book, I found myself wanting more, I wanted to stay in the world his words were creating.
Oscar has led a varied life, he has driven a truck, been a boxer and worked in the Art department of Interpol London in Scotland Yard, all the time he wrote and the results of this are worth your attention. He has a love of Edith Piaf and I suspect his moniker of Sparrow is taken from Piaf’s nickname, she was known as “the little sparrow”. I can understand his passion for Edith, I remember the first time I saw her on an Arena documentary on BBC when I was about 16, the power of her performance was mesmerising. I had heard her before, my father was a fan and had a record of hers, that I still own.
Enough of me, back to this poet. In Chanteuse (Edith Piaf 1915-1963) Oscar weaves into his description of Edith singing the history of recorded music, it begins:
Unheard at 78 rrpm
She rolled her Rs
Onto my newborn sands.
There is much here, the audacity of the trope, Edith being caged as technology makes the recordings cleaner, the humour of “She rolled her Rs” and the oblique references to Oscar’s own history as measured by how and where he heard Edith sing.
Oscar’s poem are jam packed with memorable lines, the sort that the rest of us wished we had written. In Winter Starling at a Seaside Cafe we have:
Me-oiled and Mackerelled up for it.
See me tilt my head
With solstice angled questions.
And that is just the beginning, I cannot recommend this poet highly enough to you. Check out his website and buy his book, you won’t regret it.