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Poems from Spain: British and Irish International Brigaders on the Spanish Civil War

Edited by Jim Jump , Foreword by Jack Jones

Poemsfrom Spain: British and Irish International Brigaders on the Spanish Civil WarThis is the first poetry anthology solely devoted to poems written by International Brigade volunteers. Fully illustrated and with extensive notes, the collection conveys the idealism and anguish felt by the men and women who risked their lives to defend democracy against the rise of fascism in Europe.

‘the most moving, inspirational collection of poetry I have read in many years … What is it about the International Brigaders that makes their memory and the recall of their political humanity so relevant today? Courage, a loyalty to the best within us, a political imagination that thinks with the heart: the list is long. These qualities shine from this collection, which ought to be required reading in every school.’ John Pilger

‘their story has often been told by historians but the poetry in this volume takes us further, providing a hint of the emotional cost of their commitment to the anti-fascist cause.' Paul Preston

‘This moving collection of evocative poetry is a fitting tribute to those who had the bravery and foresight to join the battle against fascism in Spain.’ Billy Bragg

Jim Jump is a London-based journalist and trustee of the International Brigade Memorial Trust. He is the son of a British International Brigader and a Spanish Republican refugee.

Two poems from the collection

Where shall we find you, George Brown?
We shall find you laughing in the mountains of Guadarrama
When we come back.
We shall find you at Teruel
When there’s dancing in the streets.
We shall find you again in the streets of Madrid,
When Manchester and Brunete
And Villanueva de la Cañada have become
One and the same.
We shall come again, lorry after lorry, man after man,
In extended order, marching forward,
To find you where we left you,
Always George Brown.
Glory! What a day that’ll be,
Wonderful, glorious,
What a day of wonder!
Every man will be a poet then
And every poet be free of his poetry;
Finding no song is made
For such a morning!



Daring closely even this urban circle
Nightingales chant, the darkwood night
Is inlaid with ivory song, while
Towards the white air of tomorrow
Rises in slow spiral the sleep of thirty men.
All the floor¹s a bed,
The straw, the smell, the kaleidoscopic cockroaches
Never ravel the curtain of their snores.
Lying here, your lovers and your haters
Are not the men, those men, you knew,
The nightingales throw music over the hour¹s edge
In falls of ambling volume: they¹ll outlive the town
To be for many thousand years the same
As on those thousands of midnights falling
Before Keats heard their enchanted summons.
We, within our short tomorrow,
Will have climbed into the violent ring of powder
Among guns¹ stream of venom and saw-edged fighting moods,
There where there¹s a new world¹s door to knock on.
These men are proud,
Not all the world, though it knows a nightingale,
Knows us who hear above all songs
The steps of an old world going.

May 1937

Miles Tomalin

Published in Association with International Brigades Memorial Trust


December 1936, Spain
Sunrise in the Pyrenees, May 1937
Full Moon at Tierz Before the
Storming of Huesca
'Like molten gold the sun on high'
Beauty Is Found To Be Ugly
The International
The Internationalist
A Letter from Aragon
Spanish Lesson
Marching Song of the 2nd Company
of the British Battalion
International Brigades
Dressing Station
'I have stood to upon some lousy dawns'
The Battalion Goes Forward
On Guard for Liberty
A Dying Comrade's Farewell to his Sweetheart
To Margot Heinemann
Battle of Jarama 1937
The Tolerance of Crows
''Twas postwar stalemate period'
Jarama Front
Valley of Jarama
Heroic Heart
Thinking of Artolas
A Moment of War
Who Wants War?
'Munitions men'
Aragon Ballad
12 July 1937, An Ode to My Comrades
Brunete Wings Overhead
Sun over the Front
Poem in the Summer of 1937
Thaelmann Battalion
'Rest, I will know your all-pervading calm'
Lull in War
Ebro Crossing
Down the Road
Full Moon over Barcelona, 1938
To a Fallen Comrade
International Brigade Dead
To England from the English Dead
Spain, May 1st, 1938
Shared Cigarette
Song of the Night Market
The Nightingale
San Pedro
'The dead have no regrets'
The Hour Glass(1)
On the Statue of the Virgin
Salud, Brigade - Salud!
I Sing of my Comrades
'I wept the day that Barcelona fell'
In an Olive Grove
For Antonio Tessaro of Padua,
Missing in Aragon
1938 Fighter Pilot
For Spain and for Sam Wild
Letter from the Underworld
'Have we no Dante for to-day's Aquinas?'
The Doomed
Hasta la Vista, Madrid!
Return to Spain
I Wish I Were Back…
'The deserters, all three, complaining'
A Tribute
'I have lived in a time of heroes'

Clive Branson
Miles Tomalin
Tony McLean
Eric Edney

John Cornford
Frank Brooks
Thomas O'Brien
Clive Branson
John Cornford
Tom Wintringham
Joe Monks

Bill Harrington
Tom Wintringham
George Green
Tom Wintringham
David Marshall
Eric Edney
Thomas O'Brien
Pat O'Reilly
John Cornford
John Lepper
Charles Donnelly
Ralph Cantor
Tony Hyndman
Lon Elliott
Alex McDade
Charles Donnelly
Ewart Milne
Laurie Lee
Bill Feeley
Bill Harrington
John Dunlop
Miles Tomalin
James R Jump
Tom Wintringham
Aileen Palmer
Norman Brookfield
Tomalin Ebro
James R Jump
Tomalin Full
Tony McLean
Bill Harrington
Thomas O'Brien
Miles Tomalin
Clive Branson
Lorenzo Varela (translated by Lon Elliott)
James R Jump
Bill Harrington
Ewart Milne
Clive Branson
Clive Branson
Aileen Palmer
David Marshall
Ewart Milne
Clive Branson
David Marshall
Tony McLean
Bill Harrington
David Martin

Tony McLean
Jim Haughey
David Martin
Bert Neville
Aileen Palmer
Tony McLean
Miles Tomalin
Tom Wintringham
Thomas O'Brien
Bob Cooney
Bill Feeley
James R Jump
David Marshall
Thomas O'Brien
Hugh Sloan Joe Monks James R Jump
David Marshall
Paperback, 128pp, All rights L&W
ISBN: 1905007396
July 2006
ISBN13: 9781905007394
Price: £10.99