'Staring Directly at the Eclipse' by Henry Normal

‘Staring directly at the eclipse is an act of quiet defiance. From being young we are told it will damage our sight. As I’ve grown older I find there are other things we turn our sight from for fear of damage.

My earlier collections have been generally concerned with love. I consider these new pieces love poems too, but with less narrow a definition. I’d like to think there is a sense of optimism, humour and minor revelations through personal experience in this poetry. Having not written for over 20 years I figure I must have experienced something without the guarantee of course of being any wiser.

Most of these poems were written over the last two years during a period of profound change for me. The act of writing during this time I’m sure was part of a search for emotional truth. Whilst that may not sound sexy I’m sure I’m not unique. It is highly possible we share some of these thoughts and feelings.

It has always been my aim to write poetry that is accessible and universal. For me it’s a communication with the humanity in others. An act of quiet defiance.’

the Alan Bennett of poetry’ The Scotsman
Dovetails bittersweet poetry with a sublimely observant witThe Guardian
A mixture of the absurd and downright wacky…a gentle giant of stand-up poetryThe List
The poetry itself is stuff of proper substance, marrying the suburban beauty of Beatles ballads with the blunt candour of the kitchen sinkThe Guardian

About Henry Normal
Henry Normal, the enfant terrible of British TV & film comedy – co-creator of The Royle Family, co-writer of The Mrs Merton Show, producer with Steve Coogan of Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, the Oscar nominated hit Philomena and the Alan Partridge film Alpha Papa – returns to his first passion of poetry. His new Collected Poems is published in 2016 as Staring Directly at the Eclipse.

Henry has performed at over 500 events alongside poets such as John Cooper Clarke, Wendy Cope, Alan Sillitoe, Lemn Sissay, Adrian Mitchell, John Hegley and Roger McGough. He has performed at Literature Festivals, theatres, cabaret venues, pop concerts, prisons, hospitals, folk clubs, town halls and even a factory. He toured Finland reading poetry, he performed in New York and with Seamus Heaney in Galway.


Approx 60 mins

Creative work details

Title: Staring Directly at the Eclipse
Date Published:

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