Singing About Melon opens with a call for silence: ‘Silenzio’. This is the self-defeating shout of the guards in the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, where several of the poems are placed. It is a call that echoes through Luke Thompson’s first collection, playing with sense and nonsense, the sayable and the unsayable, as well as the saying that un-says.
Eels, anchorites, parrots, invertebrates, a ventriloquist’s dummy and a mechanical squirrel are all deployed in this exploration of sense and silence through themes of bodily identity, grief, the divine and other species.
“A rare book – both strange and exhilarating; poems which bore and drill into the reader’s mind much like the earthworms, eels and other tiny guests vibrating on the pages.” —Mona Arshi.
“Skilfully precise and playfully mischievous, these poems embrace the spiritual, the cartoonish and everything in between with a mindful sensibility.” —Isabel Galleymore