Thirty Poems & One Other

  • Published: February 2007
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 82
  • Size: 5.75x8.25
  • ISBN: 9781412091930
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Thirty Poems & One Other are Bernard Baxter's collected poems written between 1982 and 2005. They are presented, more or less, in the order they were written, and fall into three groups.

First are poems written in County Durham - detailed observations of local wildlife, reflections on his teaching and magisterial experiences concentrating on North Tyreside, Newcastle, but extending from the Tees to the Scottish Borders, a "French period", and some personal philosophical debate.

Then he and Denise moved to Hexhamshire in South Northumberland to a very rural, sparsely populated, moorland of scattered sheep farms - these poems dwell on the landscape, but continue the philosophical thread that runs through his work.

His later poems reflect vivid memories of his early years and family life in the Cambridgeshire fens during the Second World War (living in a flatland village, most men away in the forces, very restrictive rationing, the real necessity for families to grow a substantial amount of their daily food, poverty, very limited life and career opportunities, abrasive village schooling, bewildered evacuees from London; a warm family cohesion within a strong sense of social hierarchy, no cars, few daily buses, cycling and walking the main means of travel, wonderful hard winters and annual skating in the flood plains between the Old and New Bedford canals, fishing and blackberrying within season; the dominant presence of the wartime bomber aerodrome thrown up right next to village houses, the nightly plane and aircrew losses over Europe we all knew about, but which never featured in official news output, occasional crashes, local damage and heroism, scattered bombing and doodlebugs; the huge presence of airforce personnel in the pubs, welcomed into local families, and what they did for village kids by running the local Scout Troop and other social contributions).

The "One Other" Poem is written by Denise, and reflects a life in crisis in their lives, when she was diagnosed with cancer, from which, happily, she recovered.

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