Five Ways to Kill a Man
The poem which gives its name to this volume of New and Selected Poems by Edwin Brock, Five Ways to Kill a Man, is one of the most anthologised poems of the last thirty years and that unforgettable blend of the laconic and the serious is what became instantly recognisable as the Brock voice. But there is another voice to be heard too: an anxious, compassionate and questioning voice which prompted Peter Porter to say, '...he sees Dulwich in a light as unreal as Samuel Palmer's over Shoreham'. Brock was to leave Dulwich for Norfolk, but that light, the light which illuminates, has never left him.
Edwin Brock's death in 1997, just before his 70th birthday, brought to an end a body of poems which had first been noticed in the late 1950s, in the USA as well as in Britain. Sharp, colloquial, shrewd, direct and often humorous, Brock's poems are highly original. Two of them, 'Five Ways to Kill a Man' and 'Song of the Battery Hen', are among the best-known poems of the twentieth century.
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