Get Back, Pimple!
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This collection of poems by the prolific Agard is dedicated to his children, in memory of their teenage joys and fears, and, as the the title suggests, the content of much of the volume reflects youthful preoccupations. It is a little unfortunate that this particular poem was chosen to name the collection, as it is one of the collection's very few damp squibs, and the concerns that are expressed in the book range far beyond anxieties about acne. Agard uses rhythms from blues, rap, rock and nursery rhymes in a range encompassing celebration, protest, off beat observation, and 'just for the fun of it' wordplay. The subject matter of the poems is similarly comprehensive, the focus on adolescent preoccupations not excluding broader political and philosophical themes. The last two poems, one looking back on a lost childhood and the other forward to an unknown future, are particularly effective.