Plato’s Peach is both a collection of individual poems which can be enjoyed in any order and an unfolding adventure which takes on fuller resonance if read in sequence. These poems combine vivid evocations of time and place with an ongoing meditation about life and death, nature and art, home and abroad, family and friendships. They are by turns – and sometimes all at once – moving, disturbing, consoling, funny, playful and profound. They invite the reader to participate, as one put it, in a joyful celebration of what it is to be sentient.
Awarding the first place to ‘Exhibition’ (included in this book) in the Bridport Poetry Competition, 2018, Daljit Nagra wrote that it was ‘a powerful and subtle meditation on sexual dawning and flirtation between the sexes…the poem increases in complexity as the screw on the syntax is turned…a highly accomplished and beautiful poem.’
Reviewing What Possessed Me, Charles Ashleigh wrote: “What I find attractive in the writing is the relaxed and friendly way in which the reader is invited into the poet’s world.” D. A. Prince wrote: “What impresses in this collection is Freeman’s constant desire to share his eagerness for life, other writers and the delights of places – all the things that ‘possess’ him – with readers. This is not abstruse or cryptically coded poetry but a collection lit with humour and openness.”
Adjudicating the poetry prize in the Wales Book Awards in 2017, Jonathan Edwards said: ‘this is a brilliant, witty, charming, accessible and above all moving collection … in a way that’s so insightful and generous and entertaining and tender that the poems are of the greatest power. Make no mistake, this is also a deeply ambitious book.’
These qualities are as fully present in Freeman’s new book as in his previous one.
LAUNCH EVENT – You are warmly invited to join John for the online launch of Plato’s Peach on Wednesday 1 December. Hosted by Theatre Orchard, the event will include readings from John and guests Linda Saunders and Amanda Rackstraw. Free but booking essential – BOOK ONLINE