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W.H Davies

b. 1871 d. 1940

The Welsh poet William Henry Davies wrote the poem ‘Leisure’, which famously begins:‘What is this life if, full of care,/We have no time to stand and stare.’
The poem’s theme is reflected in Davies’s...

D.H Lawrence

b. 1885 d. 1930

A miner’s son from Nottingham, Lawrence was a prolific writer of short stories, essays, poems and novels before his death at the age of forty‑four in 1930. He was a rebellious, restless and polemical...

Ivor Gurney

b. 1890 d. 1937

Ivor Gurney suffered periods of mental ill health before the First World War, but his condition had deteriorated significantly by the end of the conflict. He had joined up after initially being...

W.E.B. DuBois

b. 1868 d. 1963

Sociologist, civil rights campaigner, historian, Harvard graduate, anti-war activist, academic, essayist, novelist, communist and, of course, poet, W.E.B. DuBois was passionately committed to...

Charlotte Mew

b. 1869 d. 1928

Charlotte Mew was surrounded by mental ill health and death from a young age. Three brothers died while she was still a child and two other siblings were committed to mental institutions. She vowed...

Thomas Hardy

b. 1840 d. 1928

Thomas Hardy was born in 1840, the son of a stonemason. He trained and practised as an architect, but, as soon as he could, earned his living by writing the novels which made him famous. Then, after...

Wilfred Owen

b. 1893 d. 1918

The poems that made Wilfred Owen famous were mostly published after his death in action a week before the end of the First World War. Powerfully influenced by Keats and Shelley, he experimented with...

Isaac Rosenberg

b. 1890 d. 1918

Isaac Rosenburg was born in Bristol in 1890, the son of Russian immigrants; his father was a learned Jew who scraped a living as a pedlar and market trader. In 1897 the family moved to Whitechapel in...

Edward Thomas

b. 1878 d. 1917

Edward Thomas wrote all his poetry in less than three years, between 1914, when he wrote his first, and 1917, when he was killed in the Battle of Arras. Most of his poems were published posthumously...

William Butler Yeats

b. 1865 d. 1939

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) stands at the turning point between the Victorian period and Modernism, the conflicting currents of which affected his poetry. Born in Dublin, Yeats' family moved to...