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Song of the Butcher Bird

by Gladys Mary Coles - £7.00  Flambard Press (2007)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781873226872 | ISBN 10: 187322687x

In her tenth collection, Gladys Mary Coles brings together her poems about war and its effects – major themes throughout her work. She ranges across the centuries, from the Roman invasion of Britain to the 2005 terrorist bombings in London, with a special focus on the First and Second World Wars. These are implicitly anti-war poems of protest and rememberance. As usual, her imagery is strong and haunting, and she achieves a considerable variety of tone and pace as she exploits the possibilities of narratives, lyrics and dramatic monologues.
 
Central to this collection is an arresting sequence written in the voice of as fictional soldier-poet: ‘Poems and Extracts from the Journals of Private William Manderson, Cheshire Regiment, 1916-19’. Her concerns extend to nature and the environment as she endorses Wilfred Owen's view that ‘All a poet can do today is warn’.

(Price & availability last checked: August 2018)

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In booklists: Peace and War in Poetry and Writing, Poets and Poetry: Liverpool, Merseyside and North West, World Poetry - England,
In categories: Peace & Human Rights, Poetry & Writing, Local Interest,

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