Choosing to be a Swan by Connie Bensley
Connie Bensley's poems are sharply satirical, often poking fun at social pretence and suburban pretension. They present a comedy of manners in which her characters are bounced between love, death and the local supermarket. Choosing To Be a Swan touches on the preoccupations of our everyday life, from cars and carpets to children and cricket. This new collection by one of Britain's wittiest poets includes Wheel Fever, a hymn to the bicycle, which was shortlisted for the Arvon/Observer International Poetry Competition in 1994. Inspired by the diary of a Victorian schoolmaster, it evokes the world of a young man lucky enough to get what he wants - a Coventry bicycle, the latest 1877 model - and to go on loving it, despite hard knocks.