Gavin Ewart (Gavin Buchanan Ewart) Biography
(1916–95), (Gavin Buchanan Ewart), New Verse, Poems and Songs, Londoners, The Gavin Ewart Show
British poet, born in London, educated at Christ's College, Cambridge. After active service in the Second World War, he worked in publishing and with the British Council before becoming an advertising copywriter in 1952. From the age of 17, when his poetry was first printed in Geoffrey Grigson's New Verse, he acquired a reputation for wit and accomplishment through such works as ‘Phallus in Wonderland’ and his skilful pastiches of Auden, his principal influence, Eliot, and Pound. His first collection, Poems and Songs, appeared in 1939. The war disrupted his development as a poet, however, and he published no further volumes until Londoners of 1964. From then he produced many collections, which included The Gavin Ewart Show (1971), No Fool like an Old Fool (1976), All My Little Ones (1978), The Ewart Quarto (1984), and Penultimate Poems (1989). The Collected Ewart: 1933–1980 (1980) was supplemented in 1991 by Collected Poems: 1980–1990. The intelligence and casually flamboyant virtuosity with which he framed his often humorous commentaries on human behaviour made his work invariably entertaining and interesting. The irreverent eroticism for which his poetry is noted resulted in W. H. Smith's banning of his The Pleasures of the Flesh (1966) from their shops. As an editor he produced numerous anthologies, including the Penguin Book of Light Verse (1980).