Leo Aylen Reads from The Day the Grass came

The Day the Grass Came is the title of his reading. It is also the title of his latest work. Aylen’s characteristic talent has been described by Melvin Bragg as “the visceral intellectualism with which he attacks his subjects …exemplified in The Day the Grass Came which defines an ambitious work — and triumphs. The shorter poems are just as impressive.”The title poem is a passionate celebration of nature’s power to overcome humanity’s folly.It is a sometime farcical, mostly tragic, lament for the destruction of Planet Earth, and humankind’s self-destruction. The rest of the book presents a collage of many different scenes, from fat barristers extorting fat fees to Neanderthals struggling to keep their fire alight, from the Dalai Lama to TV celebs, from pigeon-loving Poles slaughtered by an avalanche to the victims of the Pompeii eruption, from strange visions of mystics and artists, to the banal sufferings of Glasgow yobs, station cleaners, or an unambitious policeman. There are some surrealist visions; there is also surrealist humour. The book ends with comedy –Tussaud’s waxworks, washing-powder wars, Hollywood’s versions of history, and a dream of nudity in Buckingham Palace. Four of the poems in the book have won prizes in international competitions.
Simon Callow has written, “I’ve just finished reading The Day The Grass Came. I am overwhelmed, thrilled, lit up. ..We may live with an unknown other inside ourselves. Often it can be an unsuspected presence. There is very real achievement here.”
Leo Aylen hopes the evening will have much to attract serious poetry lovers, as well as conveying something light-hearted. His ability as a master of words makes it possible for him to do both. The Day The Grass Came has already been performed in two theatres.
Leo Aylen: The Day The Grass Came and other poems (Muswell Press, London, 2012, £8.00), Leo Aylen’s ninth poetry collection.