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Who Said the Race is Over? [Paperback]

Anno Birkin , Bruce Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Dec 2003
A posthumous collection of 55 poems by Anno Birkin, who was killed in November 2001, aged 20.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Laurentic Wave Machine (9 Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954540018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954540012
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 14 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 408,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Anno's lyrics [are] poetic masterpieces in their own right. -- Rock Sound, August 2003

From the Author

Introduction by Bruce Robinson (author/director, "Withnail & I"):
For Anno
I didn’t buy a book of poetry and understand why I’d bought it until I was eighteen years old. It was Baudelaire, and it intoxicated me, inspiring ten lousy years of trying to write poetry before I threw in the rag and accepted I couldn’t. By the age I’d started, Anno had finished, and if I’d read him then I wouldn’t have bothered. A real poet can perform feats of magic, claim the world is flat if he wants, so he can sweep all the trash off the edge of it. Anno had that right.
I can’t write poetry but I can read it and Anno didn’t need death to be brilliant. Death isn’t part of the judgement. I don’t know where he’s at in relation to others and I couldn't give a toss – comparisons are a waste of time. I love his rage, and truth, and he touches me like I was still young, although I was 35 when he was born and 55 when he died.
I've always believed that art is the opposite of death, and if I'm right then Anno is very OK. He's just there before the rest of us, presently travelling at 176,000 miles a second, having left better than most of us will ever achieve in his wake. He's eternal now, even if only in this little book, and such a thought gives me comfort. Just as it comforts me to know he's gone and the sinners he despised are condemned to stay, destined for eternal reincarnation as tapeworms in Richard Nixon's gut. I haven't got much of a God, but spare me another fucking Christian with a cluster bomb ...
"Behold, one of several little christs."
You know who you are, and so did Anno, and Kenneth Patchen had them nailed before most of these arseholes were born. I choose to quote Patchen because Anno loved him, and was inspired by him, and is with him. Anno too is a great poet, a teenage poet, and we can only be amazed by what he could do with half a yard of ink.
My love to you, Anno, and to your glorious mother, and your father, my friend, for loving enough to put this book together. I turn the pages grateful that you wrote them – they really are like you – and they leave me with a sense of hope and sadness, like a child in a garden with a dying bird.

Bruce Robinson

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest Expression of Human Emotion 1 Jan 2006
This book is 1 of the most beautiful books I've ever encountered. The first poem Anno wrote when he was merley 15 illustrates just how emotionally wise that he was for such a young person. The poems & lyrics are occasionanly slightly immature in structure, yet what you do get, as opposed to alot of popular or famous poetry, is 'real' honest expression of human emotion. He shows no desire to be arrogant in his work & his words are amazingly deep & intense. He also has a beautiful use of imagery & was clearly a very expressive, almost tortured, soul. I loved the way they copied in his scribbles & pictures he'd done in journals into the book. Handwritten stuff is always how emotions should be read. He comes over as the type of friend you could loose yourself in countless deep creative conversations with. DEFINATELY A MUST FOR ANYONE WHO LOVES HONEST, EMOTIONAL POETRY, ITS INSPIRING!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, the voice of melancholy 17 Jan 2005
These poems are absolutely stunning. Rarely cheerful but always meaningful, they reach out to you and make you feel as Anno did. My personal favourite begins "Tomorrow saps my strength before she dawns..." and is the most amazing, hopeless love poem you will ever hope for! READ THIS BOOK!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Poetry 26 July 2010
By MaggieP
The poetry is amazing from one so young. Yes, Anno can be an angry young man, but he is also so eloquent and moving. So sad he was taken from us at so young an age. It is our loss as he would have grown into one of the major literary contributors of this age.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful. 21 Nov 2009
By S. Kent
These are words that will stay with you for many years after you first look upon them. Truly wonderful poetry.
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