Today on the blog dear readers I am reviewing The Sound of Revolution (Published 7th Dec. 2020) By Grae.J. Wall. A big thank you to Fly On The Wall Press for inviting me to review this collection and sending me a copy to review.
A new collection of Poetry (and a few photos) from beat poet, musician and lomographer Grae J. Wall, offering uplifting vignettes of anxiety, division, rebellion and cats!
Collated during lock-down, The Sound of Revolution is a collection of poems from recent years that reflect in some way on where we are right now. These are poems from the barricades of protest, from artistic ventures overseas and from moments of contemplation and self-healing.
Ironically it has been this period of covid enforced inactivity that has allowed Grae the time to put the book together (as well as a number of lock-down recordings) and has seen a flurry of online performance opportunity.
Being invited to perform on-line for a variety of events including Paris Lit Up, XR Arts, The UH Festival of Ideas and All in the Mind Festival has given focus, purpose and much needed connectivity.
This period has allowed us all to contemplate how a new normal might look and in some ways for Grae a chance to reconnect with that rebellious soul, the agitator and activist.
2020 has found him out on the streets fighting for a fairer, safer world – angered by the lethargy and inaction of the traditional political construct. Missing regular performance tours on the continent he values now more than ever those connections with similar and differing spirits overseas – that small beautiful planet we inhabit – putting the world to rights with an after-show beer.
These poems come from journeys of discovery, times of struggle, sometimes dark, sometimes silly, empathy, confusion, red wine, crazy times, compassion and a wry smile – the sound of revolution!
About The Author
Grae J. Wall is a poet, lomographer and songwriter from St Albans, UK. As a regular performer at venues and festivals, both at home and around continental Europe, his work is often inspired by those travels along with global issues, anxiety, red wine and cats. Grae had a childhood inspired by Bowie and Lou Reed, followed by Patti Smith, Richard Hell and Leonard Cohen, whilst reading the beats and Rimbaud. As a musician, Grae was always writing poetry, mixing them in with more regular lyrics. Then, during the noughties, Grae published his poetry in a DIY style, publishing poetry in zines and producing a tiny booklet of poems to sell at gigs. He set up a virtual cafe space where himself and a developing community of ‘outsider’ poets could share their work. Now, at the age of 56, Grae has performed at his first poetry slam and there is no going back!
Be prepared dear reader to experience some beat, lyricism and working class revolution poetry. This is a collection like no other that I have read recently and in these dire times, it is a much needed breath of fresh air.
The use of repetition with certain lines in Grae’s poetry works effectively and strengthens his focus. You can almost feel the vibrations of the drums, the stamping of feet to a new beat. It makes you want to jump off the sofa and join the march, fist punching high and proudly in the air.
Throughout this collection I was taken aback with striking imagery. A seed growing in the soil as the birds’ song returns to a summer morning. Bliss. Grae has a fascinating way of encasing the beauty, joy and wonder that the world has to offer and setting it free out into our minds. I enjoyed every second.
When I read The new normal I could feel the desire to change and the strength it will take to revel in this moment and let it live. Grae inspires you to enjoy the world and questions if we have truly learned from past mistakes. Have we really changed? He grabs your attention making you sit up, listen and take note.
The impact of Grae’s words in We reveal the truth of how humanity are evolving. We are alone and dying, history in the making. We need to make a stand before it’s too late. It’s blunt and to the point, the much needed wake up call we all need.
My favourite poem has got to be March 24 2014. Grae writes how one day every week he will not turn on the computer and immerse himself in life. Pick up old hobbies, learn new skills and live life away from the screen. I found this empowering, to be taking back control over one’s life, unplugging from the noise and the screens that dominate our daily lives. A revolution in itself to not rely on and take time to disconnect from technology.
This collection also features black and white photographs by Grae. They capture the rawness and sharp edge of Grae’s poems. They are breathtaking to look at and work well amongst his poetry. I enjoyed gazing at each one, taking in a moment in life, the past captured and frozen forever.
I give The Sound of Revolution By Grae.J. Wall a Four out of Five paw rating.
Beat poetry at it’s finest, a sound that urges you to join in the revolution. This collection inspired me to join the revolution and speak up amongst those brave enough to make a stand. Revolutionary dear reader.
Hop hop wiggle wiggle