This is me sticking my neck out (and rather expecting my head to be chopped off, or perhaps the other Marian will send me to Australia again - I had to work my passage back as bilge-cleaner on a luxury liner! ). I bought an undated old anthology called The Way of Poetry recently and decided to try and date it from the anthologist's bio. The anthologist was John Drinkwater, and the bio didn't help with my quest, but it did mention he was one of the Dymock poets. Further searching showed the others were Lascelles Abercrombie, Wilfrid Gibson, & Robert Frost, who all lived in the Dymock area (Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds) and their visiting friends, Rupert Brooke, John Drinkwater himself, Edward Thomas and Eleanor Farjeon. They are described as 'drawing inspiration from natural settings and everyday experiences'. This is confusing already, because another source mentions 6 Dymock poets , but I think it's disputed as to whether Brooke was one or not. Anyway, this was all just pre World War One.
This is all new to me, but I am familiar with bits of the work of several of them. I amass poetry the way I amass music - I collect the bits I like and ignore those I don't, which means I don't tend to have an overview of any individual poet's work. However, I'm really surprised at these 6 being grouped together in this way and with this description because I simply don't recognise them having anything in common, and some (Farjeon and Brooke) I'd never have associated with 'drawing inspiration etc. Maybe they all diversified in later life, but I'm surprised the soubriquet stuck in that case, as I'd expect it to fade away like one of those old poetry magazines that lasted a year or two and didn't produce anything significant (lots did, but more didn't). Comments appreciated.
Marian, very often poets, artists and others are grouped together for purely geographic reasons. The "Dutch Masters" for instance have their country of origin in common. As you have previously stated all these poets are from the same part of England. Most likely this is all the commonality they share.
They were there (Robert Frost was a partial member) before World War I. Gordon Bottomley, W.H.Davies (?) and the painters John and Paul Nash were on the edges. They were also connected with Harold Monro's Poetry Bookshop. There's a study by (I think) Sean Street. Edward Thomas was a superb poet and much the best of the English members.
You might like to join the "Friends" - their website is here -
A good place for your next holiday??
Perhaps it was a club formed by the members? (Those damned Lake poets get all the glory! We can be a gang, too!)
I do, actually, associate Farjeon with "drawing inspiration from natural settings and everyday experiences," since her best-known poem was set to music as the hymn MORNING HAS BROKEN (later recorded by Cat Stevens). It's about morning -- can't get more "everyday" than that! -- and mentions dewfall, grass, sunlight, etc.
And before there was a war to write poetry about, Rupert Brooke wrote things like "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester," full of stuff like this:
Just now the lilac is in bloom,
All before my little room;
And in my flower-beds, I think,
Smile the carnation and the pink;
And down the borders, well I know,
The poppy and the pansy blow . . .
The whole heartfelt thing winds up with a very "everyday" thing:
. . . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?
It also contains one of my favorite terrible rhymes:
Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!
and can be read in its entirety at:
Brooke was a groupie!! A Dymock poet, a Georgian and associated with the Bloomsbury set.
And a FWW poet as well!
Google "Sonnet Reversed" and "Rupert Brooke" for his best poem.
Aha a naeraepsekahs sonnet; has anyone done a nahcrartep?
Hand trembling towards hand; the amazing lights
Of heart and eye. They stood on supreme heights.
Ah, the delirious weeks of honeymoon!
Soon they returned, and, after strange adventures,
Settled at Balham by the end of June.
Their money was in Can. Pacs. B. Debentures,
And in Antofagastas. Still he went
Cityward daily; still she did abide
At home. And both were really quite content
With work and social pleasures. Then they died.
They left three children (besides George, who drank):
The eldest Jane, who married Mr. Bell,
William, the head-clerk in the County Bank,
And Henry, a stock-broker, doing well.
Dymock lies in the Vale of Leadon, just south of Ledbury, the birthplace of John Masefield. There must be something in the River Leadon water!
slt sa va bien j esper
Last year we had the great pleasure of visiting the Chairman of the Friends of the Dymock Poets and his wife in Malvern. We went to a cider mill in Pembridge for the evening to mark the launch of his latest book. Before moving to Malvern they had lived in Dymock for about twelve years. This Easter we enjoyed two very pleasant walks with them beside the River Lune, and visited Sunderland Point, a hamlet once known as Cape Famine. It is cut off at every high tide, and the spring tides this year were very high. Fortunately, the weather was dry and calm, so the threat of flooding passed without damage.
Hope you're up to date with your revision.
Henry! How lovely to find you here. Rather less stressful than the Poetry Library AND with a cool Moderator. And yes, the revision goeth well.