Review of ‘Who am I supposed to be driving?’ by Clare O’Brien

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

Regular visitors to this website will know I have a particular interest in ekphrastic poetry. Having written a collection of such poems in 2021, Unmuted, I am well aware of the challenges presented by the genre, the most important being the capacity for the poems to be able to stand alone: i.e. for me they must remain meaningful to the reader with minimal or, indeed, no knowledge of the source. Clare O’Brien’s debut pamphlet Who am I supposed to be driving? (Hedgehog Poetry, 2022) is a unique collection of thirteen ekphrastic poems, written in response to the music of David Bowie, and they certainly pass that test for this reader. You certainly do not need to be a fan of Bowie to appreciate these wonderful poems which allow us to explore the capacity of music to prompt reflections on the nature of the human condition.

Unsurprisingly for poems inspired…

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