“On a Boat to Barra & Other Poems” by Peter Hartley is published
Reflective and sometimes acerbic poems on subjects ranging from travel to the Great War, polar exploration and Mary, Queen of Scots
About the Book:
Peter Hartley wrote the poems in this book in a little over a year but they represent many of the joys and some of the sorrows of a lifetime.
They reflect a love of Labrador retrievers and penguins, cryptic crosswords, mountains and travel, wild and lonely places, the poetry of Hopkins, baroque music (especially Handel), a dislike for most modern art and architecture, and an extremely odd attitude towards cats.
While nearing completion the author’s partner was struck down by Motor Neurone Disease. This book is dedicated to her and to the immense courage she has displayed in its shadow.
Excerpt from “On a Boat to Barra & Other Poems”:
“We sometimes do recall the oddest things.
Why should it be so crystal clear that day
Ten years ago, a dog with me, off Eriskay
Aboard a boat and Barra bound? It brings
To mind the rain, the wind still sings and stings
And tears in gusts across the sound the way
It did, while gulls keep pace above the spray
On imperturbable and static wings.
Such moments unregarded in his prime,
They seemed inconsequential at the time.
The dog, so proud to be alive and when
He was he lived the here and now, but then
He questioned not the continuity
Of life, the permanence of him and me.”
About the Author:
Peter Hartley was a fine art restorer specialising mainly in the conservation of paintings from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, and he took early retirement more than ten years ago. He has always been fond of foreign travel, having visited over sixty countries around the world and all seven continents at least twice. Very keen on rock-climbing and mountaineering in the European Alps in his younger days, a spectacular fall involving a vertical interval of three thousand feet from near the top of an ice-bound Mount Fuji in Spring 1985, and the ensuing brain haemorrhage among many other injuries, put paid to this. But he continued to walk/trek up other easier mountains like Mont Blanc, Mount Kinabalu and Kilimanjaro.
He has always been interested in wild, lonely and desolate places, having visited Antarctica, Spitsbergen, northern Norway, the Faroe Islands and, in the UK, the remote straths of Sutherland. He made several visits to climb all the hills of the Outer Hebrides and to reach their long-deserted villages. An interest in cryptic crosswords engendered a wardrobe-full of prizes, including a seven-foot high stack of dictionaries, of which he already had an inexplicable superfluity, persuading him eventually to call it a day (won more through luck than ability, he hastens to add). A new departure dating only from the past year or so has been writing poetry, and not just poetry but poetry that rhymes, scans and has metre.
“On a Boat to Barra & Other Poems” is available in hardback from Amazon UK at:
This collection of verse is also available in paperback from Amazon at:
Press/Media Contact Details:
Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 0208 339 6060