They Run Off With Your Nose
The letters have been side-lined. The poet has written only one poem: an allegory, about a snowman who is robbed of his nose by an attractive rabbit. And then: nothing. ‘We’re all ready for a new poetry collection. Come on, poet!’ But he has a broken heart, and so the unemployed letters decide to do it themselves.
This book by Ted van Lieshout is not a collection of separate poems, but a conceptual work of art with one storyline running through it, which culminates in a typographical war – because the letters’ attempt to make poetry results in conflict. The red letters, who were supposed to bring reconciliation, stage a hostile takeover of the book.
This is a hilarious and – when the war breaks out and sentences, words and letters fly over the page – visually stunning book. At first it appears to be about algorithms taking over the work of humans, but it later develops into a completely original, humorous and sensitive story about writer’s block and about the First World War.