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John Heath-Stubbs, whose poetry was inspired by classical myth, dies at 88

John Heath-Stubbs, whose poetry was inspired by classical myth, dies at 88

John Heath-Stubbs, a British poet who used classical myth as an inspiration for his verse, died Tuesday. He was 88.
The 1973 winner of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry died at the Athlone House Nursing Home in west London, the facility said. The cause of death was not announced.
Heath-Stubbs' works included poetry, plays, criticism and translations, including "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" with Peter Avery in 1979 and his own epic poem, "Artorius: A Heroic Poem in Four Books and Eight Episodes" published in 1973.
Other works included 1969's "Satires and Epigrams" and "The Immolation of Aleph," published in 1985.
Heath-Stubbs, who slowly lost his eye sight and went completely blind in 1978, had been diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year, according to close friend Guthrie McKie.
In an interview with the British newspaper "The Independent" published in 1993, Heath-Stubbs said the loss of his eyesight did not detract his enjoyment of life, but he lamented not being able to scour second hand book stores.
"I will remember him as a very generous man, a quiet but committed Christian and someone who was very critical of a lot of modern fashions," McKie said. "He strongly objected to actors reading poetry, and believed that only poets should read poetry. He made a lot of enemies, but that's the nature of the literary world."
Born in London on July 9, 1918, Heath-Stubbs earned a degree at Queen's College, Oxford, where his classmates included writers C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
His first published appearance came in 1941 in the book "Eight Oxford Poets" and he helped edit "Oxford Poetry" in 1942-1943. He also edited the 1953 British poetry anthology "Images Of Tomorrow."
McKie said Heath-Stubbs was survived by a pair of nieces. Funeral information was not immediately available.


Updated : 2021-07-24 17:00 GMT+08:00