Christopher Middleton (John Christopher Middleton) Biography
(1926– ), (John Christopher Middleton), Torse 3: Poems 1949–1961, Our Flowers and Nice Bones
British poet, born in Truro, Cornwall, educated at Merton College, Oxford. After lecturing at Zurich University and King's College, University of London, in 1966 he became Professor of Germanic Languages and Literature at the University of Texas. Torse 3: Poems 1949–1961 (1962), his first major collection of poetry, was followed by numerous succeeding volumes including Our Flowers and Nice Bones (1969), The Lonely Suppers of W. V. Balloon (1975), 111 Poems (1983), Two Horse Wagon Going By (1986), and The Balcony Tree (1992). Middleton, whose work is firmly aligned with the traditions of European Modernism, is regarded by many as the best of the English poets of the present day dedicated to working in experimental modes; George Steiner noted his ‘characteristic tautness, sinewy elegance, and reach of invocation’. Much of his verse displays the remarkable flexibility and power of his historical imagination, which ranges freely between the Roman era and the twentieth century. Selected Writings (1989), which contains poems, short fiction, and essays, is a representative collection of his work. His other publications include the collections of essays Bolshevism in Art and Other Expository Writings (1978) and The Pursuit of the Kingfisher (1983). Among his many works as a translator are Selected Letters (1969) of Nietzsche; The Spectacle at the Tower (1985), a novel by Gert Hofmann; and Andalusian Poems (1993).
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