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To the War Poets

John Greening

Cover of to the War Poets by John Greening
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ISBN: 978 1 906188 08 5
Categories: 21st Century, British, War writings
Imprint: OxfordPoets
Published: November 2013
216 x 142 x 5 mm
86 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB)
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  •                 So there
    you lie, about to die
    but not until St George’s,
    when they’ll bury you
    on Skyros, Achilles’ home,
    and watch the trickle begin
    (from brook to river to flood)
    out of this dry island.

    from ‘To Rupert Brooke’
    In To the War Poets John Greening sends dispatches across the decades. In a sequence of verse letters he addresses the poets of the First World War directly, making connections yet always aware of distance: ‘No larks, / just the passing of traffic.’ Greening explores ‘Englishness’, but also, in his translations from German poets, goes beyond it. From the discovery of the Sutton Hoo burial in 1939 to the security forces’ shut-down of Heathrow airport in 2006, the presence or threat of conflict underlies Greening’s precise, unsentimental writing.

    War (Georg Heym)
    On the Eastern Front (Georg Trakl)
    Pleasure in Form (Ernst Stadler)
    In Despair (August Stramm)
    To August Stramm, Georg Trakl, Ernst Stadler, Georg Heym (Langemark)
    The Train
    To Isaac Rosenberg (Dover)
    The Island, A to Z
    To Wilfrid Gibson (The Menin Gate)
    The Hope Valley Line
    To John McCrae (Essex Farm, Yser Canal)
    To Robert Nichols (France)
    Feast Day, Melchbourne
    To Edmund Blunden (Ypres)
    Reading John Clare on New Year’s Eve
    To Laurence Binyon (Sanctuary Wood)
    So it Runs
    In Trafalgar Square
    To Siegfried Sassoon (Near Bapaume)
    Yeats Dances
    Dropping Slow
    To the Sun (After Akhenaten)
    To Rupert Brooke (Grantchester)
    Wadi Halfa
    To Rudyard Kipling (Tyne Cot)
    To Julian Grenfell (Sanctuary Wood)
    Heath Row
    Cycle, with Cytologist
    To One Who Was With Me (St Julien)
    To Edward Thomas (Agny)
    Eglwys Llangwyfan
    Home Office
    To Vera Brittain (Louvencourt)
    Music Group
       New World (1937)
       American Music
    The Mounds at Sutton Hoo
    Waldo Williams in Perry 
    Summer (Ernst Stadler)
    Bugles (Georg Trakl)
    To Charles Sorley (Dunkerque)
    To Robert Graves (Dover)
    Grodek (Georg Trakl)
    Forge House

    Note on Akhenaten’s Hymn to the Sun
    John Greening was born in 1954 and studied in Swansea, Mannheim and Exeter. He is RLF Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge. There have been over a dozen collections of poetry, notably To the War Poets (2013) and a new collaboration with Penelope Shuttle, along with several literary guides and critical studies ... read more
    Awards won by John Greening Winner, 2001 TLS Centenary Winner, 1998 Bridport Award Winner, 2008  Cholmondeley Award
    'Delightfully alert to connections and intersections, to historical ironies... [Greening is] a serious (but never excessively solemn) poet, who cares about both 'facts' and ideas and makes his poetry out of the interpenetration of the two.'
    Glyn Pursglove
    'So to conclude calamity in rest.' In his powerful new collection, John Greening opens lines of communication with poets of the Great War, bridging a century with heart-work of immediacy, economy and humanity.'
    Penelope Shuttle
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