If modern French poetry began with Rimbaud’s observation that ‘je est un autre,’ Francis Combes believes that poets should now say, ‘je suis tous les autres’. Drawing on the tradition of Hugo and Aragon, the idea of une poésie d’utilité publique runs through Francis Combes stunning new collection, from poèmes sans domicile fixe to poèmes moraux et politiques.
It is a book about poverty, homelessness, inequality, racism and the endless wars of the twenty-first century. It’s a book of gentle humour and savage irony. It is that rare thing, a collection of poetry that is both useful and necessary.