Ghost Armies presents Andrew Sneddon’s poetic works Fukuoka and The Wait-a-While Vine in one volume. Sneddon’s connected verses explore two defining episodes in Australia’s history and provide emotional and cultural insights of both personal and universal import.
Fukuoka relates the experiences of two Australian brothers, Alf and Wally, in a prisoner-of-war camp in Japan during the Second World War. The work contemplates life and death, brutality and kindness, beauty and horror, courage and cowardice. It reflects on suffering and the consequences of suffering.
The Wait-a-While Vine is a poetic imagining of the doomed Cape York expedition of Edmund Kennedy and Jacky Jacky in 1848. It presents playful vignettes of society in colonial New South Wales, meditates on convict life and the interactions between colonists and traditional owners, and follows the events of the expedition. Ultimately it is the story of an unlikely friendship.
This is an extraordinarily moving collection of poetry about love, endurance and the human condition.