Born in rural Ireland (the town of Inniskeen) in 1904, Patrick Kavanagh was a poet, novelist, goalkeeper, and film critic. In my not so humble opinon, he was by far the best Irish poet since Yeats. There is more truth in “Epic” than an in hundred literary articles on Homer.
Edmund Blunden was born in in 1896 in London and saw combat service in WW I. He was the lifelong friend of Siegfried Sassoon. In 1924 he became an English professor at the University of Tokyo, returned at the end of WWII, and accepted a position at Honk Kong. He returned to England and died in 1974.
Thomas Campion was a great song-writer of the 16th and 17th centuries. Now winter nights enlarge The number of their hours; And clouds their storms discharge Upon the airy towers. Let now the chimneys blaze And cups o’erflow with wine, Let well-turned words amaze With harmony divine. Now yellow waxen lights Shall wait on honey love While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights Sleep’s leaden spells remove. This time doth well dispense With lovers’ long discourse; Much speech hath some defense, Though beauty no remorse. All do not all things well; Some measures comely tread, Some knotted riddles tell, Some...
St. Robert Southwell (1561–95) was born to a well-to-do Norfolk family. At fourteen he was sent out of England to receive a Catholic education at the new English school founded by William Allen at Douai in Flanders. He soon made his way to Rome, where he became a Jesuit and a teacher at the English College. In 1586 his superiors sent him to back to England, where a new statute made it treason to be a priest. Waiting to take ship, he wrote that he was “on the threshold of death.” He survived for six years before he was captured, interrogated, tortured, imprisoned, tried, convicted for being a priest “against the statute,” and executed the next day, 21 February 1595. The Church canonized him in 1970.