IThis new selection of the poetry of the acclaimed Cornish poet Jack Clemo includes work from all of his major volumes, from The Clay Verge in 1951 to 1995's The Cured Arno. Awkward, radical, nature-baiting landscape poems full of pain and anguish give way to monologues, biographical sketches, broader themes and looser forms. The settings of white tips, flooded pits and the grinding works of the industrial-rural clayscape are replaced by the rivers and bridges of Florence and Venice and the coastal ease of Dorset. However, as Rowan Williams states in his introduction, 'mellow is not the word' for this transformation. Clemo remained till the end a rare rebellious voice, representing a unique poetic perspective and personal experience.
Jack Clemo (1916-1994), English poet and author whose physical sufferings - he became deaf about 1936 and blind in 1955 - influenced his work. Clemo's formal education ended when he was 13. His early poems reflect the stark landscape of the clay-pits in their austere intensity. Important in his writings are the themes of Christianity and conversion, erotic mysticism and marriage, and the role of suffering in attaining happiness. He married Ruth Peaty in 1968, and she inspired his later poetry, which shows a softened acceptance of sex and love.