Nina Simone Is Singing by Leontia Flynn


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Nina Simone is singing
In my Solitude
from the low amplitude speakers
of a Sony ghetto blaster.

In my solitude.
In my soli – tuuuude.
The long fifth note
extends, or rather extrudes,

all along Leith Walk
and down to the harbour (from ‘Nina Simone Is Singing’)

‘Agonised, gabby, curt, meditative, cruel (and self-lacerating, too), smart and smarting, funny and, when she tells them, serious about the butts of her jokes … a poet who is not only one of the best writers of her generation but who seems, more and more, to be the voice of that generation.’— John McAuliffe on The Radio (Irish Times)

Big claims, but this batch of new poems offers more evidence: her spare style, memorable phrases and images, her cool way with the inflammatory, a subtle exploration of public/private, wide cultural and geographical range – and danger never very far away.

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