He was E. M Forster’s ‘favorite contemporary poet’. W. H Auden extolled his ‘first-class visual imagination’. Stephen Spender considered his output ‘among the best English poems written in the present century’. Yet for most readers, William Plomer (1903—1973) is now a faintly-remembered name. Born in Pietersburg, South Africa, Plomer settled in London in 1929, where he went on to occupy a central position in English letters. By the time of his death he had published ten books of poetry. In a voice impersonal and strange, Plomer’s best poems reveal a mind that delights in the ‘sensory, pictorial and plastic’ (though not, as he thought, at the expense of the metaphysical).
About the Author
Neilson MacKay is a doctoral candidate at the University of Durham and visiting fellow at Harvard University. Currently completing a thesis on poetry in the “Little Magazines” of the interwar years, Nielson's writing and criticism has appeared in The New Criterion, amongst others. William Plomer, (born Dec. 10, 1903, Transvaal, S.Af.—died Sept. 21, 1973, Lewes, East Sussex, Eng.) South African-born British man of letters, whose writing covered many genres: poetry, novels, short stories, memoirs, and even opera librettos.