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Arthur Seymour John Tessimond – Jack to his family, John in later life – was born in Birkenhead in 1902 and made his living as an advertising copywriter, but his true writing life was in poetry, three volumes of which he published in his lifetime: The Walls of Glass (1934), Voices in a Giant City (1947), and Selection (1958). Tessimond died in May 1962, two months shy of his sixtieth birthday, and it would fall to Hubert Nicholson, his friend and executor, to make a posthumous selection of his work including a number of uncollected and unpublished poems. Not Love Perhaps (1978) has at its heart the memorable title piece which contrasts the idea of romantic love ‘that many waters cannot quench’ with the notion of a mutual companionship that enables two people to ‘walk more firmly through dark narrow places’.
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