Through The Sails of the Past

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Do You Remember: The Selected Poems of James Lyons

Edited by Robert Cochrane (Bad Press)

Some artists languish in the dusty bins of used bookstores waiting for their moment. For the Manchester-based poet James Lyons (1896-1918) the wait is finally over albeit 100 years after his passing. Sadly his life was all to brief. Had it not been, perhaps he would have gone on to pave a literally road of greater magnitude. Regardless, fellow Mancunian poet/critic/Mancunian Robert Cochrane has taken on the task of editing and sharing his work with the world in a new book entitled Do You Remember. His simple, but evocative imagery is best captured in this poem appropriately entitled "A Fragment":

"The angels keep their ancient places

Turn but a stone and start a wing!

'Tis we, with our estranged faces,

That miss the many splendored thing!"

It's not wonder that Mr. Cochrane has wisely decided that Mr. Lyons poetry as well as been seen should be heard and be set to music. One might ponder what music Mr. Lyons might have listened to in his short life, what might have inspired his prose. It requires no leap of faith to appreciate how said prose lends itself to musical melodies. To that end, Mr. Cochrane's produced an extraordinary album of his poetry performed by some of the UK's most beloved singer-songwriters including Bill Fay, Sharon Lewis, John Howard, The Children of Rain, etc. The limited edition CD with book, limited edition vinyl album, and standard issue compact disc are scheduled for release in late summer/early fall. - Dusty Wright