On the 30th of September, The Hampshire School’s poet-in-residence, Clare Mulley presented her debut book Thorn Kings: Poems from English Battlefields in the school’s cherished library. Mulley recited a selection of her powerful, war poems accompanied by a live harp performance to raise money for the Battlefields Trust.
The charity works towards the conservation, improvement, and presentation of Britain’s historic battlefields, many of which are under threat from development and neglect.
“We believe battlefields need protecting because they are sites where much of our history as a country was decided, and it is important not simply to pass over them as a single sentence in a book, but to acknowledge the suffering that happened on them,” said Mulley. “I love writing poems inspired by history because it’s essentially studying fact and using it to educate on a more emotional, empathetic angle.”
The poetry is visceral and honest in its interpretation of some of the major battles that shaped Britain’s history between the Middle Ages and the English Civil War. Mulley’s book has already sold over a hundred copies in aid of the trust.
The Facts of Life
There is nothing between the soul and heaven
There is nothing between the soul and air
There is nothing between the air and bone
There is nothing between the bone and flesh
There is nothing between the flesh and blood
There is nothing between the blood and seconds
There is nothing between the metal and seconds
but your own hand.
Cale Mulley’s Thorn Kings: Poems from English Battlefields anthology is available for order in 2 weeks time in local bookshops including Waterstones and online (ISBN: 9780995630406) or it can be ordered now directly from the Battlefields Trust by contacting Julian Humphries at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more of Mulley’s poetry on twitter @simply_spiffing