B. 1844 D. 1930
When men were all asleep the snow came flying, in large white flakes falling on the city brown. - Robert Bridges 'London Snow'
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About Robert Bridges
Robert Bridges was a trained doctor working in London hospitals until 1882, a classicist and poet who served as Poet Laureate from 1913 until his death in 1930. Educated at Eton and Corpus Christi college, Bridges edited and published the poems of his friend Gerard Manley Hopkins after his premature death.
In the many letters that passed between the two poets after their first meeting as undergraduates at Oxford in 1863, Bridges emerges as a faithful, gently encouraging friend. However, though he recognized Hopkins’s poetic genius, he was alarmed by his bold and unconventional experiments with language and rhythm.
Bridges also rejected contemporary fashions in poetry such as the decadence of late Victorian poetry and, later, the complexities of modernism, to develop his own more measured and accessible style. As a poet, he valued precision with language matched by restraint with form, qualities that are displayed in ‘London Snow’.
Recording commissioned by the Poetry Archive, used here with kind permission of the reader.
Books by Robert Bridges
The Growth of Love (1876; 1889; 1898), a sequence of (24; 79; 69) sonnets
Prometheus the Firegiver: A Mask in the Greek Manner
Eros and Psyche: A Narrative Poem in Twelve Measures (1885; 1894), a story from the Latin of Apuleius
Shorter Poems, Books I–IV
Shorter Poems, Books I–V
Demeter: A Mask, performed in 1904 at the opening of the Somerville College Library
Ibant Obscuri: An Experiment in the Classical Hexameter
October and Other Poems
The Tapestry: Poems
New Verse, includes verse of The Tapestry
The Testament of Beauty