A Trunkful of Elephants
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Another of Judith Nicholls' wonderfully heterogeneous anthologies. From a wide range of sources, including Donne, Kipling, Belloc and Lawrence as well as contemporary poets like Grace Nichols and Adrian Mitchell, she has collected a half-century of meditations on the elephant. Most of the poems are very short and intense, as if attempting to encompass the largest mass of animality in the smallest mass of words. The odd amalgam of emotions inspired by this creature is well reflected here. There are praises for its majesty, jokes about its bizarreness, and, most strongly, a sense of awe and sorrow at its threatened demise.