INTRODUCTION

This journey has been a real labour of love for poetry and animals, and a desire to educate others of the horrors that lie beyond our four walls and that it is us up to each of us to do our part.  This book is dedicated to help fight the fur trade in all its forms.

There are many to thank for getting me to this point, starting with Julie Boden and Matt Nunn, passing on their poetry wisdom and encouraging me to find my voice through poetry.  To Helen Calcutt, David Calcutt and Richard Bonfield; their poetry continues to inspire me and has also influenced me to join Born Free Foundation.  To George and Joy Adamson together with Elsa who delighted me so with their life story that I fell in love with lions.  For the actors who played their part in ‘Born Free’ film, Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, it remains my number one film.  Thank you to them, to Will Travers and everyone at Born Free Foundation for their endurance in making the world a better place for wildlife.  Thank you to Josephine Wall for letting us include some of her beautiful fantasy art, to enhance our words.  To Jacqui Rowe for her contribution and for her expertise in editing this book, I trust her magic eye!  Thanks to Saleha Begum, Tessa Lowe and Debbie Aldous for their influence and invaluable experience.  Thank you to Janine Allen, Ann Berlin and The Animal Liberation Front.  To all the poets in this book, some of which I have seen perform for many years, some whom – I have worked with and others who are recent friends, I am as passionate about your poems as you are, well done and thank you for coming together to create a stunning anthology and being a voice for the voiceless. 

We need another wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilisation surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronise them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err.  For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.

                                                                                    Henry Beston

Here are the poets appearing in the book : –

VIRGINIA MCKENNA

RICHARD BONFIELD

JANINE ALLEN

MIKE ALMA

JUDE ASHWORTH

DAVID BARBER

WILLIAM BLAKE

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

LORD BYRON

DAVID CALCUTT

HELEN CALCUTT

G. K. CHESTERTON

CHYI YU

ELAINE CATHERINE CHRISTIE

EMILY DICKINSON

DES – LONE WOLF

EUGENE EGAN

GIOVANNI SPOZ ESPOSITO

CHRIS FEWINGS

CAROLINE GILL

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES

RANGZEB HUSSAIN

SARAH JAMES

JANET JENKINS

NINA LEWIS

TESSA LOWE

CHARLOTTE MEW

MATT NUNN

ANTONY OWEN

MALINI PATEL

JADE PHIPPS

CLARE POWERS

CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

JACQUI ROWE

ALFRED LORD TENNYSON

CLAIRE WALKER

JAN WATTS

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

TOM WYRE

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