The Dymock poets were a literary group of the early 20th century who made their home near the village of Dymock in Gloucestershire, England, near to the border with Herefordshire. They were Robert Frost, Lascelles Abercrombie, Rupert Brooke, Edward Thomas, Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, and John Drinkwater, some of whom lived near the village in the period between 1911 and 1914. Eleanor Farjeon, who was involved with Edward Thomas, also visited. They published their own quarterly, entitled ‘New Numbers’, containing poems such as Brooke’s poem “The Soldier”.
Edward Thomas joined the army on July 19th, 1915, with the beginning rank of private. After just two years, he was promoted to second lieutenant on April 9th, 1917. Shortly after, at the age of thirty- eight, he was killed in the British offensive at Arras by the blast of a shell. The First World War, which saw the death of Thomas, resulted in the break-up of the community.
Abercrombie, Brooke, Drinkwater and Gibson were poets who had contributed to the Westminster Gazette and were considered Georgian poets. The `Georgian’ style, particularly its versification, fell out of favor in the 1920s and 1930s, but at the time was considered ‘advanced’, and a precursor of ‘modernism’. It used simple language and took as its subject’s ordinary events and people. Gradually, as the years went by, Abercrombie and Gibson became nonexistent, Abercrombie died in 1938 while Gibson lived on until 1962.
Edward Marsh, the artistic and literary patron, edited the five volumes of Georgian Poetry which were published by Harold Monro. Drinkwater had close connections with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre at the Old Rep in Station Street, which opened in 1913. He was its first manager, and wrote several plays for the company, mainly historical pieces and light comedies.
Robert Frost who became the most successful out of the men returned to America on February 13th, 1915. During his career as a poet he received four Pulitzer Prizes and was honored twice by the Senate. During the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy, Frost recited his poem “The Gift Outright”. This was the first time that a poet had been honored during an inauguration. On Jan. 29, 1963, Frost died in Boston of complications following an operation.
Although these poets were not formally a group their network of friendships and attachment to the local landscape influenced their poetry. They remained connected even after the outbreak of war had scattered their friendship to separate destinies.
Whittington-Egan, Richard, 1924-. “The Georgian Poets In Dymock.” Contemporary Review 278.1622 (2001): 169-173. Humanities Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 27 Apr. 2012.
Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Print