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Collected Poems

Sidney Keyes

Edited by Peter Meyer

Cover Picture of Collected Poems
10% off Hardback
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (136 pages)
(Pub. Jun 2002)
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Hardback (180 pages)
(Pub. Jun 2002)
£18.95 £17.05
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • War Poet

    I am the man who looked for peace and found
    My own eyes barbed,
    I am the man who groped for words and found
    An arrow in my hand.
    I am the builder whose firm walls surround
    A slipping land.
    When I grow sick or mad
    Mock me not nor chain me:
    When I reach for the wind
    Cast me not down:
    Though my face is a burnt book
    And a wasted town

    March 1942

    A nature poet by inclination, Sidney Keyes was drawn to the work of Holderlin and Rilke, taking them -paradoxically- to war against the Germans. They draw out his essentially Wordsworthian temperament; he was also touched by the very different imaginative worlds of Schiller and Paul Klee. A passion for the microcosmic co-exists with an ability to deal with large truths in his own voice or to enter into the imagination of other, of Clare and Yeats for example. Though he died young, his achievement is real. His dramatic monologues, his poems of landscape, of the weird and macabre, and his amstery of blank verse set him apart.
    Sidney Keyes
    Sidney Keyes was killed in action in Tunisia in 1943. He was twenty years old. With Keith Douglas and Alun Lewis he is regarded as one of the outstanding poets of World War II. Even before he was an undergarduate, Sidney Keyes was something of a prodigy producing verse of a ... read more
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