Friday Poem: 'Bantam'

10 November 2017

A poem by Scottish Makar Jackie Kay. 

It wisnae men they sent tae war.
It wis boys like the Bantams
– wee men named efter
sma ’ chickens,
or later a jeep, a bike, a camera.
That needy, fir soldiers, they drapped height
Restriction, so small men came to war.
As a prisoner, my faither’s weight dropped
And years later, the shrapnel frae the Somme
Shot oot, a wee jewel hidden in his right airm .



In Bantam, her first collection as the Poet Laureate for Scotland, Jackie Kay examines the body through the experiences of three generations - her own, her father’s, and his own father’s  – and shows us how the body holds its own story.

Bantam is published in hardback, ebook and audioboo.

Read extract  

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