Give Me the Wings: A Celebration of English Aviation Poetry

Give Me the Wings: A Celebration of English Aviation Poetry


Martin Barraclough

978-1-909075-02-3 / 416pp / hb

“Martin tells me that his intention was to produce something quintessentially English; I think that he has succeeded, while still admitting some fine poems of other origins. His is the first English anthology of aviation poetry since  1942. It is therefore long overdue."
“There are many previously undiscovered joys to be found between the pages of this anthology and much to be learnt from Martin’s thoughtful introductions. It is also the kind of book that lives, rather than dies, on one’s shelf. It is a book of manifold parts, a book to keep returning to, and in doing so to rekindle pleasures already discovered and to find new insights. I am sure that readers will treasure it.”
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Allison,



In his beautifully presented book, Martin Barraclough has produced rather more than an anthology of verse.  He traces the long history of aviation and man's desire to fly in a volume of 386 pages, which is beautifully illustrated, as well as skilfully guiding and educating the reader through some emotional, perceptive and sometimes very evocative verses.  Unusually for an anthology, Martin has provided some exceptionally well written and very descriptive passages about the authors, the translation of some of their works and importantly has catalogued some of their flying achievements.  The book contains passages which reflect sadness, pain, jubilation, unfilled ambition and the most remarkable joy of flight and masters of the air, but most of all it is a source of great enjoyment, which will bring hours of pleasure to its many readers, who will be left longing for more.  Many readers will find themselves - like me(!) , diving into 'Google' to discover more about the many heroes including Flight Commander Jeffrey Day DSC, Air Commodore Sir Nigel Norman RAF, Frederick V Branford R.N.A.S. and so very many more, whose most private and innermost thoughts have now been made so very accessible. This book is an epic of its time and an absolute 'must read' by anyone remotely interested in poetry, the use of verse, mastery of the air and, importantly, the powerful use of the English language.

Yes, indeed it is a true celebration of English Aviation Poetry.

T M Holloway, The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators

Add To Cart