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It is with great sadness we report the sudden death of Michael Packard on Wednesday June 1st 2022.

The family are working through his affairs, and as such, no trading is possible that would usually have occurred through Michael himself, however some books are still available from his distributors.

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Swan Song – Selected poems by Richard Gordon-Freeman

Swan Song – Selected poems by Richard Gordon-Freeman
  • Date of publication: Published 21 October 2019
  • Paperback ISBN-13: ISBN 978 1 85341 166 3
  • Pages: 142 pages
  • Dimensions: 206 x 135mm
  • Weight: 183g
Author(s): Richard Gordon-Freeman


This collection of 107 poems represents a lifetime’s work. Some of the poems in the selection have appeared in Agenda, Ambit, the Arts Council’s New Poems, Borderlines, Iota, PEN Broadsheets and New Poems, Poetry Book Society Supplement 1978, Poetry Dimension, Portfolio Poets, Purple Patch, The French Literary Review, Here Now, The Honest Ulsterman, The Lancet, The Listener, London Magazine, New Statesman, The Times Literary Supplement; or broadcast by the BBC and included in the record London Poets. ‘Snooker Player’ was used by the Scottish Examinations Board in a syllabus for English Literature. ‘Under the hosepipe’ was published in a limited edition by Peter Leigh, ‘Swimming: 1949’ was a Sycamore Press Broadsheet, edited by John Fuller.


The poems included are: A beer reverie; A Chinese soldier in Tibet; A Cranach Adam and Eve; A letter to the Alphabet; A pun in French;  A Zen story; Abbey River; A4isms – and more of them; After the opera; All will be revealed; Amazing space; An English walk; Apollinaire; At last we have a letter; At Louisa Lodge, Bedgebury Forest; At Sydney cricket ground; At the field of gold; Big babies; Birdnesting; Bird watcher; Biro;  Bloody slippers; Bonfire; Canadians; Cannibal poem; Clissold; Company medical; Das Ohrwurm; Daynight; Either drink, or depart; Emily Rotärmel; Face; Finders keepers losers weepers; Five sentences; Flatmate; Flemish proverbs; From the bestiary of Guillaume Apollinaire; From the Oxford Dictionary of Plays, 2005; Gobstoppers; Going home; Guiding lights; Hanged man; If you’re in an American movie; In a nosegay garden; International art English; Je fis de Macabré la danse; Knockout competition; Lead soldiers; Let the sheep piss; Life and death in seven letters; Like chess pieces; Long division; Lunch in Paris; Mating frogs; Max Ernst; Mistaken identity; My mime; Noah; Nostalgia; On the Underground; Pantechnicon-van; Parts; Pet mice; Picnickers; Place for a castle; Point-to-point; Portrait of a gentleman; Railway sleepers; Rain; Remembering my savings stamp; Rossini, Senior Crescendo; Snooker player; Snow; Some of those handbags are almost human; Stop cock; Strangford, Ulster; Swimming: 1949; Thames; the upper reaches; The air man; The albatross coast; The bouquet; The cat and the bird; The dog’s name; The drawer; The great hat race; The guard; The Irish fiddler; The Reverend Robert Walker skating on Duddingston Loch, by Sir Henry Raeburn; The swan; The tinned scream; The 218 bus around 1949; There are many Niles; Things undone; Thinks bubbles; Three train journeys; To Mr Hudgell, at May Cottage; To the red wine stains on the table cloth in a French restaurant (1936); Trotting races at Portbail; Two ponds; Two winds; Under the hosepipe; Virgin and child; White-ribbon day; Wicket-keeper; World War One; Written in my room.


Members of the public; creative writing courses in tertiary education and secondary schools.


‘The poems are stark, witty, well turned-out and always seem to know what they are up to.’
(Anthony Thwaite)

‘These poems ambush the reader at every turn.’
(Jon Stallworthy)

‘I’m very pleasantly surprised by the concise control and imagery.’
(Laurence Lerner)

‘The poems are extremely well-written – most have originality and innovation, and a welcome presence of wit and sophistication.’
(Peter Porter)

‘Pretty good stuff.’
(Hugo Williams)

‘I very much approve of the humour and observation.’
(Gavin Ewart)

‘I’ve been dipping into your book with pleasure.’
(Danny Abse)

‘I have greatly enjoyed the poems for their intelligence, fluency and humour.’ 
(Charles Tomlinson)

‘I do like the poems … they’re rich and substantial.’
(Peter Scupham)

‘Such an interesting collection of poems.’
(Michael Horowitz)

Author / Compiler

Richard Gordon-Freeman

Richard Gordon-Freeman

Richard Gordon-Freeman was born in 1938 and educated at Mill Hill School. Afterwards he studied in Germany for a year and a half then joined the advertising agency, C.D. Notley, in London, where, in the company of many established poets, he began writing poetry himself. Advertising took him to the Far East for two years after which he returned to the UK and became a freelance writer, mostly providing scripts for documentary films. This work led him to establish his own film-production company based at Shepperton Studios. After several years in the business, he now pursues a variety of interests: writing, painting and the study of Stone and Bronze Age cultures of western Europe.


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