Review of ‘This Kilt of Many Colours’ by David Bleiman

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

The clue to the subject of David Bleiman’s debut collection is in the title, This Kilt of Many Colours, (Dempsey and Windle, 2021) for this remarkable, thought-provoking pamphlet explores the complexities of identity – the many elements and influences that make us who we are symbolised in the weave of the tartan.

For Bleiman, identity is influenced by a number of factors. One of these factors is history. Though we may know little about our ancestors’ past, he suggests we can feel an inexplicable connection with them. He asks in El impacto del olvido ‘Why, when the black-bearded guide/sings the song of a Jewish girl in Ladino/and the tongues of every foreign sailor who used her in those days in Salonika, why do I start to cry?’ Though he has no personal connection with the events in the song other than shared ancestry, the words elicit a deep ‘yearning’…

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