ACHUKA #BookOfTheDay 8 Oct 2020
2021 CLIPPA Poetry Award Winner
Pleasingly, since this book entry was posted a year ago, Michael Rosen’s physical recovery has made steady progress and he was able perform in front of a live audience in July 2021, when the CLIPPA shortlist was announced.
“Enhanced by timeless pen and ink drawings from fellow former Children’s Laureate, Quentin Blake, this is a deeply moving, enduring poetry collection.” BookTrust
“Succinct and direct, both the poems and Blake’s drawings are charged with feeling.” Sunday Times
“A graceful tapestry weaving together personal and global perspectives and a heart-rending memoir of human endurance.” KIRKUS
COVID very nearly killed Michael Rosen. He had a much, much longer stay in hospital and a much rougher ride than the Prime Minister. He still hasn’t fully recovered physically but, judging from his activity on Twitter, his mind has been unaffected.
The collection’s title took me back to the poem of the same name by Thom Gunn:
Here he joins forces with Quentin Blake, focusing on migration and displacement. The poems are divided into four series: in the first, he draws on his childhood as part of a first-generation Polish family living in London; in the second, on his perception of the War as a young boy; in the third, on his ‘missing’ relatives and the Holocaust; and in the fourth, on global experiences of migration.
It’s a classic collection and, I would imagine, highly collectable.