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Walking on Ashes by Winifred Weir

by
May 2010, no. 321

Walking on Ashes by Winifred Weir

Puncher & Wattmann, $24 pb, 95 pp

Walking on Ashes by Winifred Weir

by
May 2010, no. 321

In 1914 men left for war expectant of a great adventure,’ Winifred Weir writes in the introduction to her poetry collection. ‘So many died. So many returned haunted, silent, desperate with what they had seen and endured.’ Walking on Ashes is Weir’s attempt to understand the effects of war on her family; her father and brother fought in World War I and World War II, respectively. The book, loosely chronological, contains dates of battles and their locations (‘Gallipoli’, ‘Passchendaele 1917’, ‘Amiens, France, 1918’). Some poems are out of order, suggesting that the sequence of events is less important than their overall consequence. In Walking on Ashes, time – like Weir’s father’s right arm – is shattered by war. The point of view is fluid, too: it shifts between father, mother, daughter, and son, as each has an experience to relate.

Prithvi Varatharajan reviews 'Walking on Ashes' by Winifred Weir

Walking on Ashes

by Winifred Weir

Puncher & Wattmann, $24 pb, 95 pp

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