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The Marching Bands

Authors: Desmond Graham

Published by Seren

ISBN: 9781854111586

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Significant events of the twentieth century, be they public and tragic or private and joyful, have inspired Desmond Graham to write this moving collection. The book features a number of elegies to the great poets of both world wars, including Wilfred Owen, Edward Thomas, Ivor Gurney and Keith Douglas.

These poems are evocative of the terrible atmosphere of wartime. Also here are speculative biographical pieces on painters and their families. An 'Old Turner' rows 'toothless towards Battersea', Monet surveys the famous water-lilies, and Rembrandt's son Titus, reputedly 'also a painter' - but none of whose work survives - captures on canvas his own short life. The final section of the book is a group of charming poems chronicling the birth and first years of the life of the poet's daughter, Milena.

"It is difficult not to be entertained. Style is as colourful as subject matter as Graham plays with language and form, selecting the ripest of each."
Poetry Wales

"Desmond Graham's poetry is permeated by allusions to our shared culture - music, song, dance, painting, film, all the arts of the civilized European living..."
Jill Farringdon

Desmond Graham was born in Surrey and educated at Leeds University. He has lectured at Universities in Africa, Germany and, since 1971, at Newcastle upon Tyne. He is the author of a biography of Keith Douglas and the editor of his poems and prose. He is also the editor of an anthology, Poetry of the Second World War.
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