Bobby Long is a British blues singer who writes powerful lyrics and also writes evoccative poetry. Losing My Misery is his second book of peoms, following 2012’s Losing My Brotherhood.
To be honest, i don’t especially like the rhythmic quality of Long’s poems. The cadence is often a bit jerky. in that sense, I prefer his lyrics. However, as prose poetry, concentrating on the message of each poem, it is very much worth reading.
The main themes in the book include his family and English childhood and then the demons of anxiety and depression he has had to work through growing up. The poems about his childhood reflect a family life that was definitely different but happy and often wildly funny. These contrast to the darker moods which descended upon him later that he reflects on with great honesty. In the press release, he explains the motivation for the book:
I’ve had a constant thorn in my side most of my life, and I had a moment of clarity in dealing with some obstacles-mainly anxiety and depression-and this book reflects the journey in it and through it. I addressed the problems, and I feel like I’ve lost my unnecessary misery.
Long certainly has a way with words, and while his words do not flow to my ear like those of Dylan Thomas, or for that mater Bob Dylan, he is skilled a expressing both wry humor and many other shades of emotion from despair to hope and contentment within the poetic framework. And in some of the darker poems, the irregular rhythms do seem quite effective. “Essentially, I’m a musician who loves poetry, and I love writing it,” he says, and while this writer prefers his ltrics, Losing My Misery is definitely worth your attention.
Also notice the 10 drawings which illustrate the book, which were also done by Long, allowing him to reveal yet another artitsic side. Long seems, like most songwriters and poets, ready and willing to share as much of himself as possible with as much openness as words can summon, and this book is a giant step in that endeavor.