This belated first collection comes from an author who was first published (1943) by George Orwell in Tribune.
William Clarke was born in London in 1908 and is largely self-educated. He served as a sergeant in RAMC during the Second World War, narrowly missing a watery grave at Dunkirk. He has lectured part-time to various organizations and is on the London Poetry Secretariat list. He has had some 300 poems published in a wide range of leading magazines ranging from The Times Literary Supplement and Reveille to Punch and The Poetry Review. He has been a regular contributor to Tribune.
Perched on the several rungs of a gilded cage They were like birds, like budgerigars, she thought, Mechanically intoning what she taught Without the comprehension that comes with age. They were to be inducted at every stage With the bright baubles the authorities bought, The beads, the plasticine, the cardboard fort, The illustrations on the printed page, Till such time as their natural inclination To leap and dance and play at catch and can Beyond the barriers of circumstance Was harnessed to a self-determination Befitting more the dignity of man Who may not linger where he must advance.