#Poetry #Book #Reviews: “Sheep on the Somme, A World War I Pictures & Poetry Project,” by Frank Prem, @frank_prem

Your Next Poetry Book Read!

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Amazon.com (Hardcover or Paperback only)

From the Author

In this Picture Poetry collection, journey with the AIF, the ANZACS and the German and French armies at war on the Western Front during the Great War of 1914 – 1918.

Have your photo taken in a studio in Cairo, and your heart broken on a small street in Ballarat.

The bombs are falling in an endless fusillade of artillery fire from both sides of the conflict, turning the Somme into a clagging stew of slurried mud and maddened men.

Frank Prem has taken images of men at war and created verse stories to accompany them and to tell you that this war is hell.

Welcome. Welcome to the Somme.


My Recommendation

Frank Prem takes his poetry to new heights in this thoughtful poetry/picture book inspired by a photograph used as the cover for a World War I history book titled, The Great War, and written by an Australian journalist, Les Carlyon. He shares how that one image deeply affected him and set him on a search through hundreds of images archived online in War Memorial Museums and State and National Libraries.

Frank Prem is known for his image inspired poetry, and this book was an emotional read. I could tell he responded to the images viscerally by the tone of his poetry. Each image told its own story to Frank, and he wrote from the heart.

This author writes freestyle poetry that mimics syllabic poetry in its brevity of words. Like the photos, his words are stark reminders of the horrors of war told from an Australian perspective. I wondered if he channeled the ghosts of those forever enshrined in those historical photographs. Sometimes it seemed as if they’d whispered their stories to him because his poetry seemed to capture their souls.

Many thanks to the author for providing me a PDF copy of this book. The photographs and the poetry moved me deeply. If you’re a collector of World War I memorabilia, this book would make a handsome addition to your collection.


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About Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry. A published author, Colleen is also an editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse, also found on wordcraftpoetry.com. Colleen’s mission is to bring the craft of writing syllabic poetry to anyone who thinks they can’t be a poet. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for the Carrot Ranch literary community at carrotranch.com. Colleen’s poetry has appeared in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures1 & 2” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read." Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House. Find Colleen at Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com.
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  1. A lovely review Colleen.
    Massive Hugs

  2. D.L. Finn, Author

    Great review, Colleen 🙂 This does interest me, I couldn’t find a Kindle edition. I will check back.

  3. An excellent review of an intriguing book. 💜

  4. A fabulous review of Frank’s book, Colleen. I have it and am planning to savour it over my holiday.

  5. An amazing book and agree entirely with your review Colleen…congratulations to Frank for another recommendation♥

  6. Great review and such an important and moving subject. Congratulations to Frank.

  7. Lovely review Colleen, sounds like a nice book. Wishing Frank great success.

  8. Thanks for the review 🙂
    Frank, continued success!!

  9. Colleen, Thank you so much for a wonderful review of Sheep On The Somme. I’m so glad you enjoyed the work. Those images are very transportive, I think, and affect me at a glance, even now, after working with them.

    I’ll reblog the review over to my place, to share with a few more folk. Maybe get them fired up a little over syllabic poetry!


    • Thanks, Frank. I noticed how your own poetry has evolved into short thoughts… I like it. After the beginning of the year, I intend on interviewing poets on wordcraftpoetry.com to talk about their writing and poetic styles. I’ll email you when I get my next book finished. <3

      • That would be lovely, Colleen, and I’ll look forward to it.

        I’ve just finished work on 2 collections that have been demanding time, but I think I will attempt to create my next book-form collection out of 17 syllable poems. I’ll make sure to get a copy to you if and when!

  10. Reblogged this on Frank Prem Poetry and commented:
    My thanks to Colleen Cheseboro for her wonderful new review of Sheep On The Somme.

    It is quite marvelous to realise that a piece of work – a labour of love for the author – resonates and affects others. Readers from all over. It is humbling and gratifying and inspiring all in a single breath.

    Colleen is a fine practitioner and proponent of syllabic and short poetry as well as being inclined to the faerie and the fey.

    I recommend a visit over to her place to read this and other reviews and to peek around to see the treasures for yourself.

  11. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Frank’s book, Colleen. I have seen it a couple of other places with equally wonderful reviews. I think it needs to be added to my TBR list!

    • Thank you, Jan. I’ve been blessed with some very powerful reviews for this work. I feel very fortunate to have such support.

      Hope you enjoy the book if you get to read it.

    • Jan, that’s wonderful. Frank will be thrilled. It’s only available in paperback and hardback. I know the photos are so hard to deal with in Kindle. It’s deeply moving. <3

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