John Heath-Stubbs

" (1972).


He was born in London, and educated at Bembridge School and Queen's College, Oxford. He coedited "Eight Oxford Poets" in 1941, with Sidney Keyes and Michael Meyer, and helped edit "Oxford Poetry" in 1942-43. He lived for a time in the 1950s at Zennor in Cornwall.

He was a representative figure of British poetry in the early 1950s, and edited the poetry anthology "Images of Tomorrow" (1953), very much in the aftermath of the 'New Romanticism'.

He was awarded an OBE and the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

A documentary film "Ibycus: A Poem by John Heath-Stubbs" was made by the Chilean director Carlos Klein in 1997.

Although afflicted by blindness from the 1960s, and completely without sight from 1978, he continued to write almost to the end.

Writing style

His diction was strong, yet subtle. Running through his work, like that of most romantic poets, was a nostalgia for 'classicism'. He was consciously literary, and his work was elaborately wrought rather than spontaneous, so it was not the kind of poetry likely to have mass appeal. However, his devotion to the craft of poetry makes his work impressive. Few writers of his time had a deeper knowledge of the English language, or cared for it more devotedly. [Based on notes by Edward Lucie-Smith in British Poetry since 1945.]

Poets in "Images of Tomorrow"

Dannie AbseDrummond AllisonEurasia Anderson - William Bell – Thomas BlackburnMaurice Carpenter - Alex ComfortYorke CromptonN. K. CruikshankKeith DouglasGeorge EveryJohn FairfaxG. S. FraserJohn GibbsW. S. Graham - F. Pratt GreenJ. C. HallMichael Hamburger – John Heath-Stubbs – Glyn JonesSidney KeyesFrancis KingJames KirkupNorman NicholsonI. R. OrtonMichael PaffardKathleen RaineAnne RidlerWalter RobertsW. R. RodgersJoseph RykwertJohn SmithMuriel SparkDerek StanfordJ. Ormond ThomasW. Price TurnerJohn WainJohn WallerVernon WatkinsGordon Wharton - Margaret WillyDavid Wright

"The Forsaken Garden: An Anthology of Poetry 1824-1909" (1950)

Edited by Heath-Stubbs and David Wright: Poets included were:

William Harrison Ainsworth - Matthew Arnold - Richard Harris Barham - William Barnes - Thomas Lovell Beddoes - Bramwell Brontë - Charlotte Brontë - Emily Brontë - Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Robert Browning - Thomas Edward Brown - Lord Byron - Lewis Carroll - John Clare - Ernée Clark - Arthur Hugh Clough - Hartley Coleridge - William Johnson Cory - George Darley - John Davidson - Lord de Tabley - Aubrey de Vere - Benjamin Disraeli - Richard Watson Dixon - Sydney Dobell - Digby Mackworth Dolben - Ernest Dowson - Aglen Dowty - Ebenezer Elliot - Sebastian Evans - Frederick William Faber - Jack Fireblood - John Christopher Fitzachary - Edward Fitzgerald - William Schwenk Gilbert - David Gray - Benjamin Hardacre - Robert Stephen Hawker - Reginald Heber - William Ernest Henley - Thomas Hood - Gerard Manley Hopkins - Richard Hengist Horne - G. W. Hunt - James Hurnard - Ebenezer Jones - Edward Lear - Eugene Lee-Hamilton - Arthur Lloyd - Frederick Locker-Lampson - E. Lysaght - George MacDonald - William MacGillivray - Francis Mahony - James Clarence Mangan - Richard Mant - George Meredith - William Morris - John Henry Newman - Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy - Samuel Palmer - Coventry Patmore - Winthrop Mackworth Praed - Thomas Pringle - William Caldwell Roscoe - Christina Rossetti - Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Joseph Skipsey - John Sterling - Algernon Charles Swinburne - John Addington Symonds - Alfred, Lord Tennyson - Frederick Tennyson - Charles Tennyson-Turner - James Thomson ('B. V.') - Oscar Wilde - Christopher Wordsworth


* 1942: "Wounded Thammuz"
* 1948: "The Swarming of the Bees"
* 1950: "The Forsaken Garden: An Anthology of Poetry 1824-1909", edited with David Wright
* 1953: "New Poems"
* 1953: "Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse", edited with David Wright
* 1954: "A Charm Against the Toothache"
* 1965: "Selected Poems"
* 1972: "Penguin Modern Poets 20", co editor
* 1974: "Artorius: A Heroic Poem in Four Books and Eight Episodes"
* 1978: "The Watchman's Flute"
* 1979: "Omar Khayyám, The Rubaiyat", translated with Peter Avery
* 1981: "In The Shadows - David Gray", editor
* 1982: "Naming the Beasts"
* 1985: "The Immolation of Aleph"
* 1987: "Cat's Parnassus", Hearing Eye. ISBN 1-870841-00-X
* 1988: "Collected Poems 1942-1987", Carcanet Press
* 1988: "Time Pieces", Hearing Eye. ISBN 1-870841-02-6
* 1988: "A Partridge in a Pear Tree: Poems for the Twelve Days of Christmas", Hearing Eye, illustrations by Emily Johns
* 1989: "A Ninefold Of Charms", Hearing Eye, illustrations by Emily Johns
* 1990: "Selected Poems"
* 1992: "The Parson's Cat", Hearing Eye, illustrations by Emily Johns
* 1993: "Sweet-Apple Earth"
* 1994: "Chimaeras", Hearing Eye, lino etchings by Emily Johns
* 1994: "Hindsights : An Autobiography"
* 1996: "Galileo's Salad"
* 1998: "The literary essays of John Heath-Stubbs", edited by A.T. Tolley
* 1999: "The Sound of Light"
* 2000: "The Poems of Sulpicia", translator, Hearing Eye, illustrations by Emily Johns
* 2002: "The Return of the Cranes"
* 2005: "Pigs Might Fly"


* [ Interview from 1989]
* [ Poet John Heath-Stubbs dies at 88] , BBC News, 26 December 2006
* [ Obituary] , "The Independent", 27 December 2006
* [,,1979644,00.html Obituary] , "The Guardian", 29 December 2006

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