‘We poets are (upon a poet’s word) of all mankind, the creatures most absurd.’ As these words from Pope demonstrate the crucified ego of the poet pluming the depths of their soul are nothing new.
Luke Wright who – with pretensions for the heights of Pope – attempts to translate his ego into a comedy show mixed with contemporary poetry. His feelings about fitting in through fashion – wearing the ‘heroin chic’ jeans that result in him looking like an ostrich – or agonising over poor reviews he has been given online are told with a mixture of light humour and deep self reflection. This is an awkward mixture.
Ego, soundly laid bare and nailed to a crucifix, Wright proceeds to draw out the agony which would make even a Caligula or a Nero wince. Frequently his self-loathing is unbearable. Tours for him are not filled with glitzy hotels or the snorting cocaine off of groupies’ thighs – rather they tend to involve going back to a travel inn ‘for a wank over the late night movie and 2 mouthfuls of mouthwash.’
Wright is clearly a talented, if not slightly tormented, poet and his rhythmic odes to modern life are perceptive and fresh. Yet as the Roman satirist Horace sagely noted ‘a comic matter cannot be expressed in a tragic style of verse’. Comedy, in other words, sits uneasily with much of Wright’s despairing poetry. Thankfully the clap that follows each outpouring serves as a welcome buffer between the light humour and poetic suffering.
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