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Saturday, July 21, 2018

'Poetry Is . . . A Search For Order'

“For me, poetry is always a search for order.” – Elizabeth Jennings

Born on July 18, 1926, Jennings was considered a “poetic traditionalist” and also one of Great Britain’s most beloved practitioners of the poetic arts.  

Jennings (who died in 2001) started writing in her mid-20s after graduating from Queen Anne’s College.  She was published in such major journals as Oxford Poetry, New English Weekly, The Spectator and Poetry Review before her first book, simply titled Poems, came out in 1953.  That won her the Arts Council of Great Britain’s award for “Best First Book of Poetry.”
       Not one to rest on her laurels, she followed with A Way of Looking, winner of the prestigious Somerset Maugham Award, given to leading writers under age 35.   Known for her lyric poetry and mastery of form, Jennings said of her writing technique, “It’s simple.  I write fast and revise very little.”    For Saturday’s Poem, here is Jennings’

The radiance of the star that leans on me
Was shining years ago. The light that now
Glitters up there my eyes may never see,
And so the time lag teases me with how

Love that loves now may not reach me until
Its first desire is spent. The star's impulse
Must wait for eyes to claim it beautiful
And love arrived may find us somewhere else.

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