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The poems in Joyriding! celebrate the emotional and sexual experiences of falling in love. Using a wide variety of poetic forms and structures, rhymed and unrhymed verse, the collection is divided into seven sections, based on Jaques’ famous speech... ‘All the world’s a stage ... his acts being seven ages....’ in Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’.
Beginning, in section one, with a childhood game in the secret setting of a churchyard’s laurel bushes, the book’s poems describe and illuminate the many relationships and situations we encounter on life’s long trek from innocence, through growing up, to maturity and then old age.
While love relationships are indeed joyful, some cast a sad and darker shadow: they have a sharpness that cuts and scars. The poems in Joyriding! reflect these differences. Encounters in the skin trade can also be funny and humorous, and many of the poems in Magee’s sixth collection deliciously depict riotously hilarious moments.
‘Joyriding!’ can be labelled love poetry, but there is nothing soft-centred about the poems. At different times they are passionate, irreverent, graphic, witty, and funny, but above all joyfully celebrate one of the great aspects of human experience.
‘‘Wes Magee is a sound example ... deep, meaningful and skilful ... A rare animal!’’ —Martin Booth
‘‘Poems like this are an impressive achievement.’’ —Grevel Lindop
‘‘... strong and honest poems about everyday experiences ...’’ —Kevin Crossley-Holland