Changi Days: The Prisoner As Poet

Changi Days: The Prisoner As Poet by David Griffin

10 / 04 / 2006

A collection of powerful and moving poems written by POWs of the Japanese Changi.

'The earth is quiet now,
And the sun and sky
Beckon unchanging to the sunless,
Must we emerge? Aye, soldier, aye,
There at the gate stands freedom,
Here stand I.'

Here is a completely new facet to the total Changi POW experience. Changi is rightly synonymous with brutality, despair and disease yet there is a gentler and little known side, the side of learning, poetry, short stories and plays.

Shortly after being taken prisoner by the Japanese, a group of Australians established a Literary Society. Its aim was to encourage both Australian and British soldiers - many of whom had never written before - to seek sanctuary from their grim prison world by writing and then reading their works to their fellow inmates.

From the many poems written, David Griffin here presents 36 of the most powerful and moving works. He provides the background to each, thus helping the reader to share in the writers' hopes and fears. Despite the endless Changi days, the poets and all those who lived within the prison's walls remained unfalteringly optimistic and cheerful right up to the that one final night when suddenly it as all over.
RRP: $29.95
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