(From a review by Mark Roberts of Tim Thorne’s ‘The Unspeak Poems and other verses’ — Cordite Poetry Review, 19th February 2015)
Thorne’s had three decades of blank pages on which to re-map and redraw his boundaries. But he’s also gone deeper than the surface topo map to, as he says, ‘study the underlying trends’. Much of the ‘tensions and contentions’ he uses to create these charts draw on the injustices and hypocrisy that run through contemporary society because, above all else, Thorne is a political poet.
For some critics a label of being a ‘political poet’ is something of a polite criticism: ‘what can you expect from a political poet’? In Thorne’s case, the label sits comfortably in his terrain of politics , as it weaves into the fabric of his poetry, an important part of the whole, but not the sole reason for its being.
The title of his fourteenth collection, The Unspeak Poems, hints at a political meaning; what can’t be spoken, why can’t these poems be spoken? The obvious Orwellian reference to ‘the unspeak’ is recurrant.