'England' was inspired by international sports photographer Peter Robinson's wonderful work. I hope the sonnets capture the different perspectives and changing registers of viewpoints on English football from the dyed-in-the-wool fan and the groundsman through the crowd of spectators to the players and the images of effort football provides for working people.
'Under an English Heaven' is a lighthearted look at English attitudes and takes its title from the closing line of Rupert Brooke's sonnet, 'The Soldier', which begins, 'If I should die, think only this of me: / That there's some corner of a foreign field / That is forever England'. That corner still exists for many, whether abroad or in English cities, if only in the imagination.
Under an English Heaven
Englishness is a state of mind,
having a view on the sliding spectrum
seeing church as births, marriages, deaths,
a patriotism born of rugby, cricket,
yet a feeling we share their taste for beer,
a need for rain, respect for the sea,
- Sarah's fourth collection,'Beyond', will be published by Bloodaxe in January.
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