Edwin Brock was a British poet. Brock wrote two of the best-known poems of the last century, Five Ways to Kill a Man and Song of the Battery Hen.
Brock was born in Dulwich, London, in 1927. He grew up in a turbulent working class family with no literary aspirations. He won a scholarship to a local grammar school but his formal education ended after he gained his School Certificate. Brock's interest in poetry was inspired by a paperback anthology of modern verse which he picked up idly as a bored 18-year old, waiting to be de-mobbed from the Royal Navy at the end of the Second World War. This chance encounter in Hong Kong was to prove revelatory and from then ... more »
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Edwin Brock Poems
Five Ways To Kill A Man
There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man. You can make him carry a plank of wood to the top of a hill and nail him to it. To do this properly you require a crowd of people
Tas in March
White on dark water, so stark I leave my binoculars behind and watch with bare red eyes two swans, taut with sexuality,
These Old Songs
grow in the mind, their rhymes chiming endlessly with the sound of feet walking or rain falling or being taken up
The Sea, The Sea
In a house at the edge of a cliff you can hear the sea even with the windows closed
Into this muddy coastline the North Sea seeps silently twice a day under the kestrel's weather eye
It is a sinking into sand; marram grass too sharp to lie on; eyes stinging in the wind, and
The Ghost Dancer
It is surprising to be here, now, among these people at the end. Far way, or so it seems, from anywhere where anything happened.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Five Ways To Kill A Man
There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man.
You can make him carry a plank of wood
to the top of a hill and nail him to it. To do this
properly you require a crowd of people
wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak
to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one
man to hammer the nails home.
Or you can take a length of steel,
shaped and chased in a traditional way,
and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
But for this you need white horses,
English trees, men with bows and arrows,
at least two flags, a prince, and a
castle to hold your banquet ...