Acrobats of Sound by Colin Pink – Poetry Salzburg


Acrobats of Sound; Colin Pink; Poetry Salzburg; November 2016. 92 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-901993-56-5

Available here: Poetry Salzburg

In this debut collection the reader inhabits Pink’s past along, joins his walks in cityscapes, along rural paths, and never merely observes a paintings, but becomes part of them.

Pink’s collection has some killer last lines – something that thrills me as a reader. Once I’ve invested time and energy in a poem and the poet deliver’s beautifully, it’s a really rewarding experience… and Pink always delivers.

Some of the lines that still haunt me include: “I stand clasping to me an unbuttoned coat of certainties”, “a cruel shapeshifter of memories”,  and “the mythic memory of sap”.

But it’s obviously not just the last lines that are important. The variation in topics, form and structure are of equal importance and Pink covers a whole spectrum of subject matter in a highly observational manner. His keen eye as an art historian enables him to express himself in fine detail, unpicking the world around us and reconstructing it before our eyes.

For me, some of the most appealing poems are the ekphrastic ones and one would expect a number of these from an art historian, but they do not over-populate the 77 poems in this collection. Pink still provides a diverse range of themes, and whilst introducing me to Coroc, Twombly, and seeing Giotto, Picasso and others anew, Pink goes on to introduce me to a reassembled soldier returned from Afghanistan, whilst journeying through the American Civil War and back to autumnal Britain.

This collection is most definitely well worth a read.


Freeze Frame

At the top of the hill the wind claws my face; chill
thoughts rustle through me, dry as autumn leaves.

Every year winter returns, its freeze-dried breath
a vampire feeding, inducing anaemia of dreams.

Desire for hibernation casts long shadows, seduces
the mind with the urge to sup the dregs of sleep.

Someone pressed pause and now everything seems
suspended, naked as a black bough against the sky.

Yet, hopes ascend, like a murmuration of starlings,
twisting and wringing fresh shadows from the sky.

Today I feel like an empty glove. Every path seems
a muddy palimpsest of aimless coming and going.

Time lies heavy as one of Dali’s flaccid clocks
and weary feet lack traction to pull myself along.

Aspirations twirl downward, like sycamore seeds,
describing the beauty of their own sure descent.

A sparrow flies from the storm into the hall: in one door,
out the other, wears a blink of warmth between winters.


Icarus & Us (The Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel)

No one notices
one tiny figure
fall from the sky.

The ploughman’s focus
is on his furrow, he likes
to get things straight.

The shepherd is a dreamer
lost among his sheep
back turned to distress.

The ship sails away
brings no rescue
to the struggling figure.

We all suspect our wings
are too flimsy
for extended flight

attached merely with
inadequate wax and
the sun rises every day

to whittle our bindings away.
So Bruegel has painted
the fate of Icarus and us:

to have our tragic demise
ignored by the busy world
wiped out without significance:

the sun still shining,
the birds still singing,
the people out working;

nothing stops,
time does not
hesitate in its stride.

No one notices
one tiny figure
fall from the sky.


“Colin Pink’s love of language and sound clearly shine through in this collection. There is a certain delicacy in his writing. His poetry is best read slowly and meditatively. Pink goes beyond the obvious and shows us what most people don’t see in day-to-day life.”  Katherine Lockton

Colin Pink is a British writer living in London, England. He writes scripts for theatre, radio and film, prose fiction and poetry.  He studied philosophy at the University of Southampton and the History of Art at Birkbeck College, University of London. He trained in play writing at Soho Theatre and the Chelsea Theatre, London and has three times won prizes in the London Writers’ Competition for his plays.
To learn a little more about Colin, his poetry and plays follow this link.

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