Christopher Anstey, (born Oct. 31, 1724, Brinkley, Cambridgeshire, Eng.--died Aug. 3, 1805, Bath, Somerset), poet whose epistolary verse narrative, The New Bath Guide, went through more than 30 editions between 1766 and 1830. After an education at Eton and at King's College, Cambridge, Anstey in 1754 inherited an independent income; and in 1770 he settled permanently at Bath, fashionable spa of the 18th century. The New Bath Guide; or, Memoirs of the B--R--D Family (1766) is a satire on various aspects of Bath life.Much of the poem's charm arises from Anstey's mastery of versification, but..
Sir Henry Newbolt, (born June 6, 1862, Bilston, Staffordshire, Eng.--died April 19, 1938, London), English poet, best-known for his patriotic and nautical verse.Newbolt was educated at Clifton Theological College and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was admitted to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1887 and practiced law until 1899. The appearance of his ballads, Admirals All (1897), which included the stirring "Drake's Drum," created his literary reputation. These were followed by other volumes collected in Poems: New and Old (1912; rev. ed. 1919). During World War I he was comptroller..
Elijah Fenton, (born May 20, 1683, Shelton, Staffordshire, Eng.--died July 16, 1730, Easthampstead, Berkshire), English poet perhaps best known for his collaboration in a translation of the Greek epic poem Odyssey with Alexander Pope and William Broome.After graduating from Cambridge, Fenton became a teacher. He was promised the patronage of Henry St. John (later 1st Viscount Bolingbroke) and hence resigned the headship of Sevenoaks grammar school in Kent in 1710. His expectations, however, were not realized, and he was obliged to earn his living as children's tutor to various noble families...
Sydney Thompson Dobell, (born April 5, 1824, Cranbrook, Kent, Eng.--died Aug. 22, 1874, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire), English poet of the so-called Spasmodic school.The long dramatic poem The Roman (1850), which Dobell published under the name Sydney Yendys, celebrated the cause of Italian liberation. Another long poem, Balder (1853), is concerned with the inner life of a poet who kills his wife after she has gone mad. It was devastatingly burlesqued in Firmilian: . . . a Spasmodic Tragedy (1854) by William Edmondstoune Aytoun, who, with Charles Kingsley, deemed Dobell one of the poets..
C. Day-Lewis, in full Cecil Day-Lewis, (born April 27, 1904, Ballintubbert, County Leix, Ire.--died May 22, 1972, Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire, Eng.), one of the leading British poets of the 1930s; he then turned from poetry of left-wing political statement to an individual lyricism expressed in more traditional forms.The son of a clergyman, Day-Lewis was educated at the University of Oxford and taught school until 1935. His Transitional Poem (1929) had already attracted attention, and in the 1930s he was closely associated with W.H. Auden (whose style influenced his own) and other poets..
Thomas Chatterton, (born November 20, 1752, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England--died August 24, 1770, London), chief poet of the 18th-century "Gothic" literary revival, England's youngest writer of mature verse, and precursor of the Romantic Movement.At first considered slow in learning, Chatterton had a tearful childhood, choosing the solitude of an attic and making no progress with his alphabet. One day, seeing his mother tear up as wastepaper one of his father's old French musical folios, the boy was entranced by its illuminated capital letters, and his intellect began to be engaged...
Geoffrey Dearmer, British poet who wrote verse based on his experiences as a soldier during World War I; his poetry was largely forgotten for 70 years until the 1993 publication of the collection titled A Pilgrim's Song (b. March 21, 1893--d. Aug. 18, 1996).
Sorley Maclean, (SOMHAIRLE MACGILL-EAIN), Scottish poet who was regarded as the 20th century's greatest Gaelic poet; with such works as the collection Dain Do Eimhir (1943; Poems to Eimhir, 1971), he brought new attention and respect to the language (b. Oct. 26, 1911--d. Nov. 24, 1996).
Laurence Eusden, (baptized Sept. 6, 1688, Spofforth, Yorkshire, Eng.--died Sept. 27, 1730, Coningsby, Lincolnshire), British poet who, by flattering the Duke of Newcastle, was made poet laureate in 1718. He became rector of Coningsby and held the laureateship until his death. Alexander Pope satirized him frequently and derisively, notably in book 1 of his mock epic The Dunciad (1728).
Edward Fairfax, (born c. 1575, Leeds, Yorkshire, Eng.--died Jan. 27, 1635), English poet whose Godfrey of Bulloigne or the Recoverie of Jerusalem (1600), a translation of Gerusalemme liberata, an epic poem by his Italian contemporary Torquato Tasso, won fame and was praised by John Dryden. Although translating stanza by stanza, Fairfax freely altered poetic detail. The poem influenced the development of the couplet. It also influenced the poets Edmund Waller and John Milton, whose tonal harmonies Fairfax often anticipated.Among Fairfax' other works were 12 eclogues, of which only two..
Henry James Pye, (born Feb. 20, 1745, London, Eng.--died Aug. 11, 1813, Pinner, Middlesex), British poet laureate from 1790 to 1813.Pye was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford (M.A., 1766), served in Parliament from 1784 to 1790, and became a police magistrate. Fancying himself a poet, he published many volumes of verse; he was made poet laureate in 1790, perhaps as a reward for his faithful support of William Pitt the Younger in the House of Commons. The appointment was looked on as ridiculous, and his birthday odes were a continual source of derision. His most elaborate poem was the epic Alfred..
Frances Cornford, nee Frances Crofts Darwin, (born March 30, 1886, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England--died August 19, 1960, Cambridge), English poet, perhaps known chiefly, and unfairly, for the sadly comic poem "To a Fat Lady Seen from a Train" ("O fat white woman whom nobody loves, / Why do you walk through the fields in gloves...").A granddaughter of Charles Darwin, she was educated at home. Her first book of poems, which contained the "Fat Lady" verse, was published in 1910. Later volumes include Spring Morning (1915), Autumn Midnight (1923), Different Days (1928), Mountains and Molehills..
Keith Castellain Douglas, (born Jan. 20, 1920, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Eng.--died June 9, 1944, Normandy, Fr.), British poet who is remembered for his irony, eloquence, and fine control in expressing the misery and waste of war, to which he was to fall victim.Douglas' education at Oxford University was cut short by the outbreak of war. By 1941 he was serving as a tank commander in North Africa, where some of his most powerful poems were written (Alamein to Zem-Zem, 1946). He was moved back to Britain in 1944 to take part in the D-Day invasion; he fell in combat in Normandy on his third day there...
Hartley Coleridge, in full David Hartley Coleridge, (born September 19, 1796, Kingsdown, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England--died January 6, 1849, Grasmere, Cumberland), English poet whose wayward talent found expression in his skillful and sensitive sonnets.The eldest son of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, he spent his childhood alarming and delighting his family and the Southeys and Wordsworths by his mental agility and the "exquisite wildness" that caused his father and Wordsworth to address poems to him prophetic in their forebodings. He entered Oxford in 1815 and in 1819 gained..
Nicholas Moore, (born Nov. 16, 1918, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, Eng.--died 1986), one of the "New Apocalypse" English poets of the 1940s who reacted against the preoccupation with social and political issues of the 1930s by turning toward romanticism.The son of G.E. Moore, classicist and Cambridge philosopher, he published an important literary review, Seven (1938-40), while a Cambridge undergraduate and was a conscientious objector during World War II. Most of his verse was published in the war years: The Island and the Cattle and A Wish in Season (both 1941), The Cabaret, the Dancer,..
D.J. Enright, in full Dennis Joseph Enright, (born March 11, 1920, Leamington, Warwickshire, England--died December 31, 2002, London), British poet, novelist, and teacher.After receiving a master's degree at the University of Cambridge, Enright began a prolonged period of academic wandering, teaching English in Egypt (1947-50), Birmingham, England (1950-53), Japan (1953-56), Berlin (1956-57), Bangkok (1957-59), and Singapore (1960-70); from 1975 to 1980 he was an honorary professor at the University of Warwick. He was joint editor of Encounter in London (1970-72). Memoirs of a..
Jack Clemo, original name Reginald John Clemo, (born March 11, 1916, near St. Austell, Cornwall, Eng.--died July 25, 1994, Weymouth, Dorset), English poet and author whose physical sufferings--he became deaf about 1936 and blind in 1955--influenced his work.Clemo's formal education ended when he was 13. The son of a Cornish clay-kiln worker (d. 1917), he was raised by his mother, a dogmatic Nonconformist. His early poems reflect the stark landscape of the clay-pits in their austere intensity. Important in his writings are the themes of Christianity and conversion, erotic mysticism and..
Wilfred Wilson Gibson, (born Oct. 2, 1878, Hexham, Northumberland, Eng.--died May 26, 1962, Virginia Water, Surrey), British poet who drew his inspiration from the workaday life of ordinary provincial English families.Gibson was educated privately, served briefly in World War I, and thereafter devoted his life to poetry. A period in London in 1912 brought him into contact with Lascelles Abercrombie, Rupert Brooke, John Drinkwater, and other Georgian poets, with whom he founded the short-lived poetry magazine New Numbers. In 1917 he made a long lecture tour of the United States. His first..
Thomas Blackburn, (born Feb. 10, 1916, Hensingham, Cumberland, Eng.--died Aug. 13, 1977, Wales), English poet, novelist, and critic whose verse is notable for haunted self-examination and spiritual imagery.The son of a clergyman, Blackburn was educated at the University of Durham. In his autobiographical novel, A Clip of Steel (1969), he depicts a childhood tormented by a tense and repressive father, his own breakdown in his early twenties, and his successful psychoanalysis. Blackburn's first notable volume of verse was The Holy Stone (1954). His later volumes include A Smell of Burning..
William Soutar, (born April 28, 1898, Perth, Perthshire, Scot.--died Oct. 15, 1943, Perth), Scottish poet, second in importance to Hugh MacDiarmid among the writers of the Scottish Renaissance movement.Soutar was educated at Perth Academy and the University of Edinburgh. During World War I he served for two years in the navy and contracted osteoarthritis, from which he suffered thereafter. From October 1923 he was a semi-invalid, and, after the failure of an operation in May 1930, he was bedridden. He was saved from apathy and despair by his delight in the variety of nature and his devotion..
Gavin Ewart, in full Gavin Buchanan Ewart, (born Feb. 4, 1916, London, Eng.--died Oct. 23, 1995, London), British poet noted for his light verse, which frequently deals with sexual themes. He wrote children's poems and poetry on serious subjects as well.Soon after Ewart's 17th birthday his poem "Phallus in Wonderland" was published, beginning a long career of writing poetry that ranged from whimsical to bawdy. Ewart was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge (B.A., 1937; M.A., 1942), and published his first collection, Poems and Songs, in 1939. For the next 25 years he almost completely..
Sir John Denham, (born 1615, Dublin, Ireland--died March 10, 1669, London, England), poet who established as a new English genre the leisurely meditative poem describing a particular landscape.Educated at the University of Oxford, Denham was admitted to the bar, but he was already actively writing. He had translated six books of the Aeneid, parts of which were later printed, but he made his reputation with The Sophy, a blank-verse historical tragedy acted in 1641, and with Cooper's Hill, a poem published in 1642. During the English Civil Wars, he was engaged at home and abroad in the cause of..
Christopher Logue, (born November 23, 1926, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England--died December 2, 2011, London), English poet, playwright, journalist, and actor, who was one of the leaders in the movement to bring poetry closer to the popular experience. His own pungent verse has been read to jazz accompaniment, sung, and printed on posters. It is engaged politically and owes much to the work of Bertolt Brecht and to the English ballad tradition.Logue served in the British army from 1944 to 1948. His first book of poetry was Wand and Quadrant (1953), and he adapted 20 of Pablo Neruda's poems as The..
David Gascoyne, in full David Emery Gascoyne, (born October 10, 1916, Harrow, Middlesex, England--died November 25, 2001, Newport, Isle of Wight), English poet deeply influenced by the French Surrealist movement of the 1930s.Gascoyne's first book of poems, Roman Balcony, appeared in 1932 when he was only 16, and his only novel, Opening Day, appeared the next year. The royalty advance for Opening Day enabled him to visit Paris, which encouraged a passionate interest in Surrealism. His important introductory work, A Short Survey of Surrealism (1935), and his verses Man's Life Is This Meat..
John Lehmann, in full John Frederick Lehmann, (born June 2, 1907, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, Eng.--died April 7, 1987, London), English poet, editor, publisher, and man of letters whose book-periodical New Writing and its successors were an important influence on English literature from the mid-1930s through the 1940s.Educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge, Lehmann worked as a journalist and poet in Vienna from 1932 to 1936 and returned to England to found New Writing, which was issued under various titles until 1950. New Writing published the work of W.H. Auden, Christopher..
Goronwy Owen, also called Goronwy Ddu o Fon, (born Jan. 1, 1723, Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf, Anglesey, Wales--died July 1769, Brunswick, Va. [U.S.]), clergyman and poet who revived the bardic tradition in 18th-century Welsh literature. He breathed new life into two moribund bardic meters, cywydd and the awdl, using them as vehicles for the expression of classic ideals rather than in praise of patrons.Owen was taught an appreciation of medieval Welsh poetry from his youth. He studied briefly to be a priest and then taught school for some years. While serving as master of the local school and curate..
F.S. Flint, in full Frank Stuart Flint, (born Dec. 19, 1885, London, Eng.--died Feb. 28, 1960, Berkshire), English poet and translator, prominent in the Imagist movement (expression of precise images in free verse), whose best poems reflect the disciplined economy of that school.The son of a commercial traveler, Flint left school at the age of 13 and worked at a variety of jobs. At the age of 17 his reading of a volume by the 19th-century Romantic poet John Keats fired his enthusiasm for poetry. Two years later he became a civil-service typist and enrolled in a workingman's night school. He learned..
Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, (born Aug. 17, 1840, Petworth House, Sussex, Eng.--died Sept. 10, 1922, Newbuildings, Sussex), English poet best known for his elegant erotic verse and his expression of anti-imperialism.He entered the diplomatic service in 1858 but retired on his marriage with Lady Anne Noel, Lord Byron's granddaughter, in 1869. He and his wife traveled frequently in Egypt, Asia Minor, and Arabia, and they established a famous stud for the breeding of Arabian horses.Blunt became known as an ardent sympathizer with Muslim aspirations, and in The Future of Islam (1882) he directed attention..
R.S. Thomas, in full Ronald Stuart Thomas, (born March 29, 1913, Cardiff, Glamorgan [now in Cardiff], Wales--died September 25, 2000, Llanfairynghornwy, Gwynedd), Welsh clergyman and poet whose lucid, austere verse expresses an undeviating affirmation of the values of the common man.Thomas was educated in Wales at University College at Bangor (1935) and ordained in the Church of Wales (1936), in which he held appointments in several parishes. He published his first volume of poetry in 1946 and gradually developed his unadorned style with each new collection. His early poems, most notably..
Mina Loy, original name Mina Lowy, (born Dec. 27, 1882, London, Eng.--died Sept. 25, 1966, Aspen, Colo., U.S.), modernist poet whose strongly feminist work portrayed unflinchingly the intimate aspects of female sexuality and emotional life.Loy began studying art in 1897 at St. John's Wood School in London. In 1899 she left England to study painting in Munich, Germany, returned to London in 1901, then traveled in 1902 to Paris, where she met and married fellow art student Stephen Haweis in 1903. She was elected to the Salon d'Automne in 1906 and moved to Florence in 1907.In Florence she came into..
Sir John Davies, (born April 1569, Tisbury, Wiltshire, Eng.--died Dec. 8, 1626), English poet and lawyer whose Orchestra, or a Poem of Dancing reveals a typically Elizabethan pleasure in the contemplation of the correspondence between the natural order and human activity.Educated at the University of Oxford, Davies entered the Middle Temple, London, in 1588 and was called to the bar in 1595. Much of his early poetry consisted of epigrams published in various collections. Epigrammes and Elegies by J.D. and C.M. (1590?) contained both Davies' work and posthumous works by Christopher Marlowe..
Richard Crashaw, (born c. 1613, London, Eng.--died Aug. 21, 1649, Loreto, Papal States [Italy]), English poet known for religious verse of vibrant stylistic ornamentation and ardent faith.The son of a zealous, learned Puritan minister, Crashaw was educated at the University of Cambridge. In 1634, the year of his graduation, he published Epigrammatum Sacrorum Liber ("A Book of Sacred Epigrams"), a collection of Latin verse on scriptural subjects. He held a fellowship at Peterhouse, Cambridge, a centre of High Church thought, where he was ordained.During the English Civil Wars (1642-51),..