Selected Poems

C.H. Sisson called John Heath-Stubbs 'a Johnsonian presence with a Miltonic disability’ – a reference to the poet’s blindness. This selection of an abundant poet restores him to a new readership with the work on which his popularity was based. His ground-breaking early poetry is given its due, especially the major long poem Wounded Thammuz, printed here in its entirety. Heath-Stubbs was at the centre of the New Romantic school. The Second World War left him as almost the sole representative of one stream of English poetry. He remains crucial to the 1940s and ’50s, and was a popular presence into the 1980s, composing his later poems in his head and reciting from memory. Too long he has been sidelined by shifts of critical fashion. Selected Poems includes a critical preface by John Clegg who essentialises and celebrates the work. Three of Heath-Stubbs’ translations of Leopardi – revered by subsequent translators, and long out of print – are included.

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