Towards the end of the collection, sadness underlies the work as the complexities and difficulties of the world beyond the tight relationship of father and daughter takes its toll. ‘Tu Rooms, Pt 1’ looks for a rental: ‘It was to have Tu rooms somewhere fairly central / but with a brilliance of trees and daisy caves for picnics … For the five hundred mark there must have been something surely reminiscent of all these things, if not exact, or a Wonn bed basement flat would do it … and that would tide us over until we found the Wonn proper family home.” ‘Tu Rooms Pt 2’ also holds hopes, though now “… Wonn / bedroom will do to tide us over until I’m / fully qualified in my poesy and earning a steady / coin-flow … it’ll be a home away from her usual home for the weekends.”
Stylistically Richard Thomas shows experimental playfulness while not appearing too self-aware. He demonstrates understanding of the culture and traditions in which he is working without seeming to be over-knowing. High in his list of ‘Those Things I’ll Teach You’ is “to tamper with the rubric but know it first / to get best success.” A comparable straightforwardness runs through his handling of the “young father” theme; he brings us the challenge and joy of being the caring parent of a new baby, rather than delivering an analysis of male bonding.
You can read the full review on Write Out Loud.
There is also a great review by Emma Lee on Sabotage Reviews:
Acute anxiety induces mind-fog, effectively reflected in the phonetic spellings, as the brain struggles to find words to explain a state of mind overwhelmed by the responsibility of a treasured, longed-for but utterly dependent baby daughter who needs not just the basics of food and shelter, but also the security of love and stimulus to discover herself and develop. A sense exacerbated by reams of unsolicited, generic and often unsuitable advice freely avalanched onto new parents. It’s the state of someone who cares deeply and wants to provide their best, whilst feeling inadequate. Someone whose daughter will be fine.Zygote Poems are an honest reflection of the transition from father-to-be to father, with the broken language reflecting emotional states on that journey.
Read the full review here: Sabotage Reviews
Richard Thomas will be launching Zygote Poems on Thursday 22nd October at Plymouth Social Club, 38-39 Tavistock Pl, Plymouth PL4 8AX. With Support from Booby Trap, plus open mic poetry and prose slots available. 7.30pm, £1 Entry.