Edwin Brock was a British poet. Brock wrote two of the best-known poems of the last century, Five Ways to Kill a Man and Song of the Battery Hen.
Brock was born in Dulwich, London, in 1927. He grew up in a turbulent working class family with no literary aspirations. He won a scholarship to a local grammar school but his formal education ended after he gained his School Certificate. Brock's interest in poetry was inspired by a paperback anthology of modern verse which he picked up idly as a bored 18-year old, waiting to be de-mobbed from the Royal Navy at the end of the Second World War. This chance encounter in Hong Kong was to prove revelatory and from then on Brock, completely self-taught, began to write his own poems.
Gradually Brock started to be published, firstly in the smaller magazines and eventually in the Times Literary Supplement. During this period, Brock served as a police officer in the Metropolitan force, the unusual combination of policeman and poet giving rise to a brief period of fame when a tabloid journalist published an interview with Brock under the banner headline: "THE THINGS HE THINKS UP AS HE POUNDS THE PECKHAM BEAT".
Brock was embarrassed by the sudden attention, but he continued to pursue his writing with serious intent. His efforts bore fruit when his first collection was accepted by the small but prestigious Scorpion Press in 1959. Its title, An Attempt at Exorcism, touches on the essentia..