On the Move: Poems About Migration

Publisher: Walker Books

This emotive poetry anthology from former Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen, is divided into four sections, each exploring a different aspect of migration. It opens with Family and Friends, a series of heartfelt, and sometimes amusing, ruminations on Rosen’s childhood as part of a Polish-Jewish family in post-war London. The next group of poems, entitled The War, are inspired by his parents’ and grandparents’ memories of the Second World War. The Migrants in Me section explores the fate of his ‘missing’ Jewish relatives who disappeared in Nazi Germany. Finally, On the Move Again draws together Rosen’s thoughts about migration today, in particular the plight of refugees who flee the hardships of their homelands to begin anew elsewhere.

Enhanced by timeless pen and ink drawings from fellow former Children’s Laureate, Quentin Blake, this is a deeply moving, enduring poetry collection. In an insightful introduction, Rosen describes migration as an intrinsic part of human history, which has led to the development of richly diverse societies around the world. For readers who wish to further explore the issues raised, there are suggestions of organisations which support refugees, as well as sources of information on the Holocaust, at the end of the book.

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