Thursday 29 March 2012


Psychosilly by Alan Murphy (       
PB RRP (Convert from 10.99 English Pounds)
ISBN 978-0-9561734-1-6
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

A lot of incredible talent has emerged recently from Ireland. Alan Murphy is one of them with a second book containing an unusual style of experimental poetry for children and adults. It is highly entertaining, thought-provoking and unique. The collection is made of sixty-seven poems written mostly in free verse and some limericks are also included.   

Murphy’s work is similar in style to Rachel Rooney’s (The Language of Cat and Other Poems) in that it contains the unexpected, unconventional and always surprising, subjects, themes and incredibly original use of language.

It is verse ‘made to baffle and entice’. A book that defies the norm and dares to challenge the reader to think outside the square; to interpret words and meanings in an alternate way, and at times to simply accept things as they are. The artwork is in perfect sync with the poems; a maze of well- utilised collage in unconventional shapes, sizes and colours. Together they create a picture of the writer’s mind that shows daring, innovation and style. This is also reflected in the superb yet zany front cover.

The quirky, highly intelligent poems incorporate subjects such as the humorous In Praise of Buttocks, the uncommon use of a common object in Ode to Blue Tack, and the title poem Psychosilly which is mind-bending as intended.

The titles themselves are a string-bag of surprises: Hell is Homework, Buttons, and Puddles and Mud and Chairs, Ham Sandwich Haiku, An Alien from Inner Space Murphy is so comfortable with words that his inventive use of assonance and alliteration, and the fantastic word play is nutritional brain food for the reader.

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