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Geoffrey Grigson: Selected Poems

John Greening




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Geoffrey Grigson (1905-1985) was for many years a vital figure in the literary life of Britain. A notoriously unsparing reviewer, he edited the magazine New Verse (which brought Auden and other writers of the 1930s to prominence) and found popularity with his writings about the countryside and several wonderful anthologies. For much of his life he was writing his own poetry too, but it was only when he was in his sixties that it attracted much attention, and since his death it has largely been overlooked.

This new Selected Poems ranges from his debut 1939 collection and the work of the 1940s and 1950s (long unavailable) through to the award-winning late volumes and the very last poem he wrote, in September 1985. Love lyrics, satires, landscapes, sketches of rural life, autobiographical pieces - these poems sharp, economical, by turnhave a freshness and clarity of focus rare among contemporary poets. They also amount to a fully rounded portrait of this controversial Cornishman: a seventh son, who lost all six brothers before he was middle-aged; who was married three times (finally to the cookery writer, Jane Grigson); who rubbed shoulders with the famous poets and artists of his day; who was quintessentially English, yet devoted to France and the idea of Europe; who lived through two world wars and many more purely literary feuds.

Now the smoke has had time to clear, what remains is Geoffrey Grigson's poetry - by turns lyrical or barbed, restlessly attentive to the physical world, its delights and its terrors.


About the author:

John Greening is author of more than a dozen poetry collections including Hunts: Poems 1979-2013 (Greenwich Exchange,2009), To the War Poets (Carcanet, 2013) and Heath (with Penelope Shuttle, Nine Arches, 2016). He has written several books for Greenwich Exchange, notably Poets of the First World War, W,B. Yeats, Elizabethan Love Poets, Edward Thomas, Thomas Hardy, and Ted Hughes, along with the recent Poetry Masterclass. 2015 saw publication of his OUP edition of Edmund Blunden's Undertones of War, and of a classical music anthology, Accompanied Voices (Boydell). His memoir of two years spent in Upper Egypt, Threading a Dream, appeared in 2017 from Gatehouse, and his collected essays and reviews, Vapour Trails, are due from Eyewear Publishing in 2018. His awards include the Bridport Prize and a Cholmondeley. TLS reviewer and Eric Gregory judge, John Greening has just completed two years ats RLF Writing Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge.


204  pages

ISBN: 978-1-910996-13-3

Greenwich Exchange Category: Poetry

Series: None



Other books by John Greening published by Greenwich Exchange:

The Poetry of Ted Hughes

Edward Thomas

Poems of 1912-13: Thomas Hardy

Poets of the First World War

Hunts: Poems 1979-2009 (Paperback Ed.)

Hunts: Poems 1979-2009 (Hardback Ed.)

Elizabethan Love Poets

W.B. Yeats

Poetry Masterclass