Tuesday, 20 August 2013

They Shot all Our Horses -- review


Book Review: They Shot All Our Horses 
poetry collection by Harry Rogers. 

THERE is a strong rhythm to the work of poet and songwriter Harry Rogers, who has just published his first collection of poetry.

‘They Shot all Our Horses’ contains 50 poems, which were written between 1981 and this year.

Harry is one half of the performance poetry duo The Chilly Dogz (with Marc Gordon) and he is also lead singer with the west Wales band Scene Red.

It is not surprising that Harry’s words resonate with a recognisable rhythm as he spends much of his time songwriting and performing his music as well as reading his poetry at live events. He’s a regular at the Cellar Bards evenings in Cardigan.

These song-like qualities are real strengths of his poetry.

He also uses repetition to great effect, much as he might in a song lyric. And rhyme, perhaps not a particularly fashionable attribute of poetry these days, is used in a way that helps create and sustain the rhythm.

A short example from the poem ‘Cathy Come Home Again’:

Harry Rogers


‘Just when I thought the world had moved on
Suddenly it seems that I got it all wrong
Like a recurring nightmare it’s all back on top
Unemployed evictions whilst the wages drop.
Now it’s Cathy come home again
Yes it’s Cathy come home again.’


Most of the poetry in ‘They Shot all Our Horses’ is politically driven and is often campaigning in its stance, raising issues around war, socialism, Toryism, homelessness, the Middle East and more. But it is all personal too, based on the writer’s experiences in earlier years in London and more recently in west Wales.

It’s certainly worth a look as this poetry works on the page as well as in performance.

Price is £7.50.  The collection is available to order online from lulu: 
lulu.com/shop/harry-rogers/they-shot-all-our-horses/paperback/product-21128505.html

This review first appeared in the Tivy-Side Advertiser