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Molly Holden Biography

(1927–81), A Hill Like a Horse, To Make Me Grieve, Air and Chill Earth

British poet, born in Peckham, London; she grew up in Surrey and Wiltshire, and was educated at King's College, London. Having had poems published in leading periodicals as a student, she resumed writing during the early 1960s when she became increasingly disabled with multiple sclerosis. The privately published A Hill Like a Horse (1963) was her first collection of verse. Her reputation was established with To Make Me Grieve (1968). Two more volumes of her poetry were published, Air and Chill Earth (1971) and The Country Over (1975), before her illness prevented her from writing. The considerable personal candour of much of her finest verse is balanced by the rigorously objective treatments of natural phenomena; she attributed the penetrating clarity of such imagery to the opportunities for concentrated observation produced by her confinement to a wheelchair. Her accomplished style is typically based on conversational adaptations of conventional forms. She also wrote novels for children. A Selected Poems, with the addition of previously uncollected material, was published in 1987.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: John Hersey Biography to Honest Man's Revenge