Streetwise — David Burridge

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The art of people-watching is one we all engage in, and in Streetwise these observations, suffused with the many ways we imagine the lives of others, take on depth and focus as poet and passers-by interact without a word needing to be said.

In nuanced and lyrical pieces, the poet draws on years of experience as an employment lawyer, aware of those turned out onto the street; reflects on personal experience of the paths that lead to medical diagnoses, aware of those whose news was less fortunate, and above all, simply watches with a humane and intelligent perspective.

From city streets to the streets of history, from country paths to places of memory, David Burridge follows in the footsteps of the philosopher Rousseau, revealing how much can be discovered by simply walking through a forest or up a hill. A finely layered and compelling reflection on the many routes we take through life, Streetwise is a long-overdue debut to which readers will return.

She window-leans out from her living quarters,
a crevice of cottage under the wall.
Puycelsi – a village high above the Forêt de Grésigne,
built to scour and beat off thugs marauding below.
For centuries quiet was contained with height and stone.

In the mid-morning bask, she presents her proud pots,
and while the cat sleeks by, describes the season’s blooming.
Her simple sense of completion dosed me with the need

— 'Bonjour Madame!'

Author biography

Photo of David BurridgeDavid Burridge been a published poet for many years, appearing in magazines such as Acumen, Orbis and Dream Catcher. He has also published three previous poetry collections (Pausing for breath along my way, Making Sense, Child's Play). David regards himself as someone who uses his poetry to express and make sense of life, describing himself as a "gentle pragmatist". He now has time to indulge this passion and his love of philosophy, having retired from a career in business and the law. David is a fluent German speaker, a keen walker, and a passionate European. He lives in Oxfordshire with his wife.