The evolving journey will take us through landscapes beyond borders of county and country, state and shire. Through the window on a slow train of poetry, we encounter scenes of birth and death, grief and joy, cowshed and asylum, often with a hearty whiff of whimsy in the tail.
Set in sections like photo albums filled with 'snaps', readers are invited to experience with the poet, rich morsels of life captured in framed vignettes of verse.
Starting with an event in Cheshire on New Years Day 1950, we are taken through farms and fields of childhood, our first day at a village school, then across the sea to Grandad's farm in County Mayo where we meet ancestors.
We visit Holland on an odyssey of adolescence, walking with canals, riding random railways, blown like a lonely cloud into some sort of self-discovery.
Suddenly transported "far away from Cheshire rain" we join a bewildered migrant "under Parramatta blue skies . . . . . . uniformed in cool verandah shade" where we meet more interesting fellow souls.
Moving to "a far backyard" on Australia's east coast, north of Sydney we celebrate ordinary events like starting a family, mowing lawns, growing potatoes, feeling homesick. We shoot the messenger when the postman leaves no mail, we prove how dreams 'foretell' and answer a loud knock on the door at 2am.
Laugh and cry. Be in awe of Nature as the years melt in the glade of Now where we reflect, observe, remember.
Enjoy this nightcap of Irish Breakfast Tea in a cup that runneth over. It will never be empty.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Jennifer Reinoehl for Readers' Favorite "Cheshire Born" is an enchanting book of poetry by John Wright that will take you through a lifetime of interludes. You will identify with Norma as she breaks the language barrier through actions more than embarrassing, an uncle whose death prophecy finally comes true, and the boy having his first experience with the vulgarity of another culture. It is a melancholy look at yesteryear across the English countryside and into Holland and modern life. John Wright writes in a style that is best described as a cross between that of Sylvia Plath and James Joyce. "Cheshire Born" contains a nice mix of narrative poetry and well-captured dialect. I enjoyed reading the poems presented here, especially the ones about traveling through Holland, which were lighter than the rest. 'The Queen’s English' was perhaps my favorite, closely followed by 'Interview' (1968), 'Euchered' (1969), 'Medici', 'Fatal', 'Matriarch', and 'Trojan Blessing'. I love lines such as “a Rosary-rattling Grandmother who scared the living daylights out of God” that are filled with alliteration and candor. I gave the book four stars instead of five because although I enjoyed the trip into Holland, it was more unified in its experience than the other poems before and after it. The first two sections of "Cheshire Born" are separate vignettes about people and places. Then comes the Holland section, which is almost like one poem broken apart by titles and different meter. After the Holland sequence, the poems return to their vignette style. Since the style was so different from the other sections, I felt maybe it would have been best in another collection. Apart from that, the poems are well-written and solid throughout.