Archive for November 2011

Poems for Remembrance

November 13, 2011

At this time of year, I like to co-ordinate a weekly poetry project of a poem specially chosen on the theme of remembrance of the fallen. This year, I have co-ordinated two, The Trenches and To a Dog.

For those of you not familiar with the weekly and fortnightly LibriVox poetry projects, one poem is chosen and recorded by as many LibriVoxers as possible. It is surprising how different the interpretations can be.

The Trenches by Frederic Manning (1882 – 1935)

Manning was an Australian poet living in England at the outbreak of the First World War. He enlisted in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, and was in action at the Battle of the Somme. This poem paints a vivid picture of the horror of night in the trenches.

All the recordings may be found at

Or download my own version directly from

To a Dog by John Jay Chapman (1862-1933)

Chapman’s son Victor was the first American pilot to lose his life in aerial combat, while serving with the Escadrille Américaine in the First World War. This poem tells of the heartbreak of a bereaved father; the sentiment, though attributed to the son’s dog, is familiar to all who have lost someone they loved, in peace or war.

All the recordings may be found at

Or download my own version directly from

New free LibriVox recording: The Feast of St. Friend

November 10, 2011

Just released: The Feast of St. Friend, a Christmas Book by the inimitable Arnold Bennett.

It is hard to believe it was published 100 years ago.

Something has happened to Christmas, or to our hearts ; or to both. In order to be convinced of this it is only necessary to compare the present with the past.

Bennett himself came from a strongly Methodist family, but this is not a religious book. This is about the significance of the festival of Christmas for everyone, Christian or not.

Thought-provoking, wry and amusing as always, Arnold Bennett offers no easy solutions but has certainly given me something to think about. I hope you find the same.

Also in progress: another of Dicken’s Christmas stories and a mysterious romance. These will be available soon.

After that, I will be completing Volume 2 of Henry Lucy’s East by West, and returning to my old favourite Cleek for more adventures with Dollops and Inspector Narkom of the Yard. Lots of fun to come.

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