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A Wilfred Owen Odyssey: A Spring Cycling Offensive | Caroline Burrows | Spoken Word | Poetry

A Wilfred Owen Odyssey: A Spring Cycling Offensive | Caroline Burrows | Spoken Word | Poetry


‘A Wilfred Owen Odyssey: A Spring Cycling Offensive’
By Caroline Burrows ‘A Wilfred Owen Odyssey: A Spring Cycling Offensive’
By Caroline Burrows ‘A Wilfred Owen Odyssey: A Spring Cycling Offensive’
By Caroline Burrows My bike’s fully loaded, my own pack-mule; A pilgrimage of Wilfred Owen poetry, Riding south between the Pennines and the Irish Sea, I set my sights for distant Liverpool. ‘You can’t miss it,’ says a man I ask for directions, Casting his curse, I get lost different ways, Till I skirt Leyland where tanks were once made. Till I skirt Leyland where tanks were once made I’m relieved I’ve survived it through Preston. Spring lambs bounce around flat fields in the Ribble, Near two crows ganging up on a baby squirrel. Near two crows ganging up on a baby squirrel. The B-road takes me over six screaming lanes, To a Scouse bus honking with offensive disdain. To a Scouse bus honking with offensive disdain. In Birkenhead, a statue called ‘Futility’ Shows a man with his head in his hands, who’s sat With a wreath of paper poppies in his lap. The bronze remains dull although it’s sunny. Expecting a veteran, I meet a musician, Who went to the B.I., Wilfred’s old school: Only a wall remains where a cruel Head caned kids for breaking archaic rules. In his Wilfmobile, he shows me locations: ‘Did you know a dead famous poet lived there?’ The people living inside couldn’t care. Then it’s back to the Wilfred Owen Museum, Hearing how he’s adapted poetic rhythm, Into a Wilfred Owen musical. Near Chester, I rest in a cyclists’ café, Where a roadie shows me a safer greenway, Past a cemetery where rows of soldiers fill Uniform graves standing to attention. Despite the forecast there’s miles of cold wet stuff. But ‘Warm Showers’ greet me at Oswestry From members of that cycling community. There’s Wilf’s birthplace, another statue, an exhibition, A plaque, a park, and the church where he prayed. A plaque, a park, and the church where he prayed. A Wilfred lemon and poppy seed cake was made by the librarian, second place, in a Bake-Off. I wait by a country field as cows are unloaded. One runs bellowing; it’s separated; In another truck is its baby calf. It’s quieter when I reach city grass outside Shrewsbury Abbey: whose bells when they were ringing War’s end, that’s when Wilfred’s mum got news he’d died. War’s end, that’s when Wilfred’s mum got news he’d died. At a pub B&B, I stop cycling. In the bath, the acoustics sound great being read, In the bath, the acoustics sound great being read, Wilfred Owen by Richard Burton On YouTube before bed.

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