The Wound Register
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books
The Wound Register, or Casualty Book – which gives this book its title – is an official record of the casualty and sickness details for more than fifteen thousand soldiers of the Norfolk Regiment during the First World War. Written during the conflict’s centenary, the poems in Esther Morgan’s fourth collection apply the concept to her own family history in the aftermath of her great-grandfather’s death at the Somme. An unflinching sequence written to her grandmother explores the trauma of losing a father in combat, while other poems address the missing soldier directly as he hovers on the brink of living memory.Morgan’s experience of coming late to motherhood brings the book into the present, giving her alertness to loss a fresh urgency as she traces the legacy of three generations. Written with the lyrical precision of her earlier work but with a new intimacy, The Wound Register grapples movingly with the question of whether it’s possible to live and love while doing no harm.