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A Moment of Disbelief by William Alderson


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A Moment of Disbelief is a convincing and unequivocal condemnation of war and its exploitative and inhumane consequences. At the beginning of this collection, the poem “The Weeping Woman (by Pablo Picasso)” stands out as an apt signifier for the grief and suffering as a result of war prevalent in our world today. A subtle evocation of humanity is present throughout this collection; and there is hope too, as expressed in the poem “The Lost Fen Ragwort”, which ends with “one lost flower recovered, / one waking to friends and joy, / one open door inviting me to live.” This justifiably, politically-charged collection could be enjoyed for the expressive sharpness of its poetry while giving a significant pause for thought.”
John Lyons

“William Alderson is a poet of skill and intensity. His poems often display deep feeling about war and migration. Like Shelley, clearly a poetic hero for him, he reacts with eloquent dismay to the horrors of combat and suffering. And like Shelley he is not content with a rhetoric of protest; he also examines, in poems such as “The Mask”, the theme of complicity in political wrong. This is a compelling collection, at once forceful and subtle. Reworked nursery rhymes, the sonnet and the villanelle, plus adroitly handled stanza forms and adapted songs, all appear in a volume that, through its fusion of art and controlled anger, serves as ‘an open door, inviting [us] to live’.”
Michael O'Neill


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