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The Dymock Poets

Authors: Sean Street

Published by Seren

ISBN: 9781854111210

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Shortly before the First World War a group of poets gathered in the small village of Dymock, in rural Gloucestershire, forming an interacting colony of talent. Their number included Lascelles Abercrombie, Wilfrid Gibson, Robert Frost, Rupert Brooke, John Drinkwater, Edward Thomas and Eleanor Farjeon.

Among their visitors were W.H. Davies, Ivor Gurney and Edward Marsh, the influential literary person. Their move to Dymock was a conscious decision to work in and respond to the English countryside, to seek a literary idyll. They produced their own journal, New Numbers, to promote their writing, read to each other and discussed literature and its practice in each other's houses.

The results were far reaching. At the encouragement of Frost, in particular, Edward Thomas turned from literary journalism, to become one of the great English poets of the century. Frost himself gained a new impetus, while Rupert Brooke found Dymock and its occupants a fixed artistic centre during his world-wide travelling.

Sean Street has written a narrative of this brief gathering which is a persuasive and, at times, moving story. His thorough understanding of the poetry, period and area make a valuable and informative contribution to our understanding of a key period into British and American poetry. This new study of the Georgian poets will provoke further and long-overdue reassessment of their writing.

Sean Street is a writer and broadcaster. He is the author of six collections of poetry and has had four plays performed in the last decade, including Honest John (1993) which celebrates the life of the poet John Clare. He has written books on Hampshire, Dorset, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and rural writing. He has produced radio programmes on W.H. Hudson, A.G. Street, Hopkins' 'The Wreck of the Deutschland' (also the subject of a book), historic farms and Lost Villages. He is a regular contributor to arts and history programmes on BBC Radio 2 and 4, where his feature on Keith Douglas marked the 50th anniversary of the death of the poet in 1944.
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