A Barrel of Dried Leaves

A Barrel of Dried Leaves


by Allan Cameron

Pages: 76
ISBN: 978-1-908251-64-0
Dimensions: 210 x 140 x 6 mm
Publication: 19 October 2016
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“A barrel not of laughs but of contortions, confusions and the occasional dry chortle – and of metre adorned with irregular, sometimes internal rhymes, assonances, alliterations, awkwardnesses and other such trickery unfashionable to the current academic ear, and not a murmur of the poet’s inner angst, failed loves or fortitude.”

This second collection of Cameron’s poetry contains a wide variety of subjects, not all of which are commonly associated with poetry: a weak man is interviewed by angels and devils, an Afghan mystic tells us why he became one, a riposte to Scott’s “Breathes there a man with soul so dead”, taking the side of the man with a dead soul, the English language, a lesson on Italian viticulture, and another on Italian anatomy amongst others.


“Cameron confesses to a weariness with poetry’s old forms and concerns, particularly the perennial Romantic subjects of love and exploration of the self. As a corrective, he ... turns his presbyopic gaze outward in a sequence of poems that takes in eco-vandalism, press barons, George W. Bush and death. One admires his determination to reject ... pretension and obscurantism ..." – The Sunday Herald on Presbyopia

"A Barrel of Dried Leaves rakes together the 'corroded' past and 'sing[s] the anthem' of change and patriotism in a galvanizing, all-encompassing way. The collection veers away from the expected self-exploration and, without obscurantism, places the reader in a world-reaching, overarching search for human identity. ... A Barrel of Dried Leaves asks us, individually and collectively, in passion and integrity, to not only accept transition, but also pursue transformation. 'Ah! Make a song of that!'" – Shanley McConnell, DURA

Other books by Allan Cameron