Portsmouth poet's sad tale of dying soldier is featured in US anthology

HAUNTING verses of a dying soldier's final thoughts have earned an amateur poet a slot in an international anthology of work.

Thursday, 2nd November 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 2:10 am
Brenda Bickers with the anthology that features her poem

Brenda Bickers’s prose focuses on the horror and realisation of a young soldier, wounded in war, that he is about to die.

The sorrowful tale has now been given pride of place in a new body of poems by American writer M B Leibowitz after he spotted it online.

It comes just days before the nation pauses to reflect upon the sacrifices made by Britain’s armed forces – past and present – at this year’s Remembrance Sunday events.

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And for the 57-year-old amateur writer from Copnor, the publication of her poem couldn’t come at a more fitting time.

She said: ‘I was too young to have been around at the time these poor young soldiers were going off to war and giving up their lives for our freedom.

‘I find it very sad. I always make sure, wherever I am, that at 11am on Remembrance Sunday I will stop and mark my two minutes’ silence. I’m always in tears at the end of it.

‘But I think the young people of today should be taught more about why were commemorate Remembrance.’

Mrs Bickers, who celebrates her birthday tomorrow, hopes her work might inspire others to reflect on Remembrance Sunday.

She added the poem was the first of her prose to be published.

The former delivery driver has been crafting her poems on creative writing website Fanstory.com for the past three years.

It was here that her latest war-inspired piece, A Soldier Comes Home, was spotted by Leibowitz who asked if he could use it.

Speaking about the moment, she said: ‘When I found out, I was just like “wow”, I’m going to get something in writing. It was a brilliant feeling.’

Brenda’s work is now on sale on Amazon – although the first edition print run has sold out. To find out more, search ‘Till Shadows Have Eaten The Moon: Songs of Life and Love.’