On the topic of Remembrance, ‘This Intimate War’ pops up in The Age


This Intimate War is a recent book of poems by Dr Robyn Rowland. With the Turkish translations next to them, these poems do not talk about glory; they tell of the horrors suffered by both sides. “Children of Gallipoli” tells of the young ones who lied about their age while “recruiters knew, slid their eyes away”. Some 18,000 English boys under 19 were killed at the Somme and “at Gallipoli ‘colonial lad’ Jim Martin was dead at 14”. We read of the anguish of the Turkish wife in “When he was young, once”, who gets delivered home to her a man whose mind and body she does not know any more. “She wanted him back. Not this.” Then there was Aborigine Arthur, who had to say he “was half-caste to get in”. The book’s title acknowledges the closeness that developed between the “colonial lads” and the Turks. But, oh, the price paid for that closeness when one reads a line like this: “He watched the boy’s brain leak away.”
– Janna Hilbrink, Northcote

Link to the article at The Age online: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-letters/remembrance-bonds-forged-through–the-shared-hell—of-war-20151112-gkxgfb