Poems by Eric Millward
Eric Millward was born in 1935 in Longnor, Staffordshire. After attending Buxton College and spending his two years of National Service (underground) in the RAF, he has had a variety of unsuitable occupations, the most long-lasting of which has been Civil Aviation.
His work has appeared in magazines such as The Listener, John O’London’s, Outposts, Tribune and Poetry Review; also in several anthologies, including three of the P.E.N. New Poems series and Borestone mountain’s Best Poems of 1974 (U.S.A.). It has been broadcast on the (then) BBC Third Programme and SABC. His first full collection, Dead Letters, for which he received an Arts Council Writer’s Award, was published by Peterloo Poets in 1978 and has now sold out. Appropriate Noises brings together the best of his output since then, including poems broadcast on Poetry Now (BBC Radio 3) and Poet’s Corner (Tyne-Tees TV). Dead Letters was reviewed as follows:
’Eric Millward is a formalist, and in his best poems, observations and language work together without strain. “A Windy Day” seems to me to be without fault . . . A poem called “Spastic”, understated and powerful, moved me to tears . . . all Millward’s poems give an impression of life. Pain and humour resolve themselves in his neat stanzas.’
Anne Stevenson, The Listener
We have been picking bilberries over an hour.
Your small hand opens, closes: a preying flower.
Warm shadows deepen into greys and blues,
Hiding in caches those we didn’t choose
Or didn’t see. All of the world is still
Except ourselves, upon this glowing hill.
Whatever moved here earlier lies low,
Waiting for us to take our fill and go,
When, watched by them, the patient, the bright-eyed,
We shall go down the bountiful hillside.
But for an hour we lord it over eyes
That watch us covertly, with some surprise,
For hills hold nothing quite like me and you,
Stooping and picking till our hands are blue.
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Edvard Munch ‘The Scream’, 1893, (Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo). Photo: Jaques Lathion
Publication: SPRING 1987 (48 pages laminated paperback)