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To the War Poets
RRP: GBP 9.95
ISBN: 978 1 906188 18 4
Categories: 21st Century, British, War writings
Published: November 2013
86 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle), Paperback
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.
'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.
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.
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)
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)
To the Sun (After Akhenaten)
To Rupert Brooke (Grantchester)
To Rudyard Kipling (Tyne Cot)
To Julian Grenfell (Sanctuary Wood)
Cycle, with Cytologist
To One Who Was With Me (St Julien)
To Edward Thomas (Agny)
To Vera Brittain (Louvencourt)
New World (1937)
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)
Note on Akhenaten’s Hymn to the Sun
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 Praise for John Greening 'A fine collection of verse... constantly fresh and insightful. It is a collection to return to frequently, to immerse oneself in its richness, its darkness, and its felicity of voice'
David Malcolm, Poetry Salzburg Review
'It's a loving and inventive meditation on the sources of creative inspiration; the vagaries of artistic confidence... Greening immerses us in the radiant muddle in which Sibelius found himself during the last three decades of his life.'
Frank Beck, The Manhattan Review
'Historical encounters are handled with superb formal control, their power coming from the combination of almost surreal imaginative coincidences with a purity of diction'
William Bedford, The High Window
'This is an intelligent, satisfying collection and, appropriately for poetry where one of the main subjects is a musician, it is consistently musical'
Alwyn Marriage, London Grip
'Beyond the admirable craftsmanship that characterises almost all of his work, one of Greening's great strengths is his historical imagination.'
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