Sing for the Taxman
Her characteristic wit and precision are fully in evidence in Sheenagh Pugh’s Sing for the Taxman. Dedicated to the proposition that poetry must, first of all, entertain the reader, these poems give delight on first reading and pleasure upon contemplation.
A day mountain climbing inspires the beautiful three-part pastoral ’Climbing Hermaness’, that opens the book. In ’Five Voices’, we learn about the strange and tragic execution of Lieutenant Hans Hermann von Katte in 1730, through the dramatic confessions of his intimates. Later we meet, among others, ’Mozart Playing Billiards’, ’The Last Wolf in Scotland’, and Guy Fawkes’ girlfriend ('Remember, Remember'). Half a dozen of Sheenagh Pugh’s excellent translations from the poetry of Jammes, Holty, Von Hofmannswaldau and others, round off this thoroughly enjoyable collection.