The Golden Mile: A Book of Poems
by Brian Ward

"The history of the name Ward suggests that the Ward clan were the poets in the court of the ancient O’Brien kings."

A walkthrough or mini-memoir, this 220-page book will resonate with many types of poetry readers, including sons, fathers, parents, lovers, travelers, and senior citizens. “The Golden Mile” is the polished gem set atop Ward’s collection. This four-stanza, rhymed poem sparkles as it reveals the poignancy of a father and son sharing a delayed moment in a war-shortened life. Other examples of Ward’s poetry record tender times with his wife and playful memories of his young children and grandchildren. A glossary of names makes it easy for the reader to keep track. “Beads Up Your Nose” will bring back the drama of some childhood moments which are best (but not easily) forgotten. “The Olden Days” answers the sort of questions every kid delights in asking an older parent. Fantasy, Australian, and Italian poems offer something for every poetry devotee, young or old.

The poet is clearly a man who is comfortable in his own shoes. The author and his wife, Lesley, who penned the forward, each inherited the UK citizens’ love for warmhearted banter. Ward warns readers in advance that he has the Irish ability to stray from the point. This heritage makes for a fun excursion through the events of the poet’s life as recorded in a collection of verse. One has to admire any poet who has successfully experimented with writing verse forms that rhyme and/or repeat across specified lines and stanzas. Ward includes sections with his poems that are villanelles (a 19-line poetic form with a set rhyme scheme), pantoums (derived from a Malay verse form), a sonnet, and a sestina. The up-front reference of first lines will be a favorite navigation tool for some. A collection of Ward’s travel sketches finishes this tender love story.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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