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Journey From Winter: Selected Poems

Valentine Ackland

Edited by Frances Bingham

Journey from Winter: Selected Poems
Categories: 20th Century, British, LGBTQ+, War writings, Women
Imprint: Fyfield Books
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (223 pages)
(Pub. Mar 2008)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • When we were first together as lover and beloved
    We had nothing to learn; together we improved
    On all the world’s wide learning, and bettered it, and loved.

    Now, you stand on the summer lawn and I am to show you
    First how to raise the gun to shoulder, bow head,stare quickly,
    and fire.
    Then how to struggle with the clumsy bolt, withdraw, return,
    and again fire.

                                                 from 'Teaching to Shoot' by Valentine Ackland 
    Valentine Ackland is best known as the lover of poet Sylvia Townsend Warner, with whom she collaborated on Whether a Dove or a Seagull (1934). She was a distinguished poet in her own right, however, and enjoyed popular success during the 1930s. Considered controversial in her times, she was both a lesbian and a communist. Her first poems are highly sensitive accounts of the Dorset landscape, subtly attuned to the rhythms of the sea. She was also an exceptional war poet, writing about the Spanish civil war, life on the home front during the Second World War, and later protests against nuclear weapons. Some of her finest poems are on the subject of the destruction of the natural world.

    Journey From Winter presents Valentine Ackland's finest compositions alongside a useful contextual introduction by editor Frances Bingham. This Selected Poems allows her remarkable achievement to be assessed for the full time, re-establishing her importance in the pantheon of twentieth century women's poetry.
    Valentine Ackland
    Valentine Ackland was born in 1906. Her childhood embraced extremes of privilege and abuse within a wealthy but unhappy family; at nineteen she made a disastrous marriage which lasted less than six months. As a young woman she became notorious for cross-dressing and wild living, but she was also a dedicated ... read more
    Frances Bingham
    Frances Bingham has written short stories and poems which have been published in magazines and anthologies including I, I(both Diva Books) and I (The Women’s Press). She has written many literary articles, including the centenary celebration of Valentine Ackland in the Guardian Review, and contributed to Critical Essays on Sylvia ... read more
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