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Selected Poems 1933-1993

Gavin Ewart

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‘The most remarkable phenomenon of the English poetic scene during the last ten years or so has been the advent, or perhaps I should say the irruption, of Gavin Ewart’ wrote Philip Larkin. Larkin was one among many poets and critics who admired Gavin Ewart’s work; Stephen Spender, Anthony Thwaite and Peter Porter were also fans.

Influenced by T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, but especially by W. H. Auden, Ewart was a prolific poet and his verse reflected a bawdy wit and an irrepressible sense of humour. He was largely known for his irreverence to sexual convention and is the second most prolific contributor to Making Love to Marilyn Monroe: The Faber Book of Blue Verse.

The poems in the Selected Poems were chosen by Ewart before his death in 1995 and were published for the first time in 1996. They are a selection of the best work from a writer of poetry for both adults and children who had a long and productive career.


Gavin Ewart was born in London in 1916. He studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge and was literary editor of Granta from 1936-7. His Poems and Songs were published in 1939. Londoners appeared in 1964 and was followed by, among others, Pleasures of the Flesh (1966), The Deceptive Grin of the Gravel Porters (1968), The Gavin Ewart Show (1971) for which…

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