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John Heath-Stubbs (John Francis Alexander Heath-Stubbs) Biography

(1918–2006), (John Francis Alexander Heath-Stubbs), Wounded Thammuz, The Charity of the Stars

poems collected college

British poet, born in London, educated at Worcester College for the Blind and at Queen's College, Oxford, where he formed a close friendship with Sidney Keyes. He has held a succession of visiting posts at universities in Britain and overseas. Wounded Thammuz (1942), his first collection of verse, was followed by numerous volumes, which include The Charity of the Stars (1949), The Watchman's Flute (1978), Collected Poems 1943–1987 (1988), The Game of Love and Death (1990), and Selected Poems (1990). Much of his work is characterized by a wry individuality of tone and skilful manipulation of rhythmical effects. ‘Send for Lord Timothy’, a purposefully ludicrous satire of the cult of nostalgia in the English detective novel, is one of the best-known examples of the marked comic strain in his work. Many of his poems arise from his preoccupation with mythological and historical subject matter, of which Artorius (1972), a treatment in twelve parts of Arthurian legend, is the most sustained manifestation. Of his translations, Poems from Giacomo Leopardi (1946) is particularly highly valued. Among his other publications are the plays collected in Helen in Egypt (1958); the monograph Charles Williams (1955); The Darkling Plain (1950), his charting of the ‘later fortunes of romanticism’, and a prose autobiography, Hindsights (1993).

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