Threadbare Fables – Ian Seed

Originally posted January, 2013:

ian seed 003


I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey – no I haven’t – and I don’t have to as it has been quoted or broadcast enough in the media for me to have picked up a strong dose of its content, but I bet it isn’t as sexy as the following:

ian seed 004

And now that I have aroused your interest with this piece of poetic foreplay, my serious point on the sensuality of writing is how Ian Seed’s opening vignette in his excellent Threadbare Fables appeals not  because of its sexual suggestiveness but because of the humour that takes us further into its possibilities.

The prose-poem fables in this immediately accessible and engaging pamphlet remind me of Matthew Sweeney’s absurd and surreal poetic storytelling. What I like about Seed’s is how his too deal in mystery and unknowing, and though suggesting so much they never define or finalise. They are a wonderfully ‘easy’ read, and by this I mean you can cover them all quickly – if you wish: you might want to speculate and ponder after each individual tale – but they then stick with you, like images swiftly seen but leaving a strong impression, and you instinctively imagine afterwards and for some time resolutions or even reasons for what preceded their events.

There are a few recurring themes/ideas – a dying/dead father; taking an unexpected route – but overall there is a breadth of genuinely imaginative yet brisk storytelling.

New NB These prose poems can be found and are available in Ian Seed’s collection The Identity Papers here.

NB Initially published by likethispress, this chapbook is now out of print, but if you go here there is the possibility that a copy can still be purchased [read down a bit] but I do not know; and also since the initial posting, there was a recent article in The Guardian here about how charity shops can no longer accept/accommodate donated copies of 50 Shades... having been inundated!

4 thoughts on “Threadbare Fables – Ian Seed

    • My pleasure Ian, and thanks for stopping by. I have always enjoyed your excellent work and have added this book link in the review, and will be ordering my copy; also checking out the bbc link. Best wishes, Mike


      • Thank you, Mike. That’s very warming. If you email me your address, I am more than happy to send you a complimentary copy of my Makers of Empty Dreams, the volume which precedes Identity Papers (they form part of a trilogy of prose poem collections).


  1. Pingback: Ian Seed – Identity Papers | mikeandenglish

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