Arthur Seymour John Tessimond
Biography of Arthur Seymour John Tessimond
Arthur Seymour John Tessimond (Birkenhead, July 19, 1902 - Chelsea, London May 13, 1962) was an English poet.
He went to Charterhouse School, but ran away at age 16. After studying at Liverpool University, he moved to London where he worked in bookshops, and also as a copywriter.
After avoiding military service in World War II, he later discovered he was unfit for service.
An eccentric and an Imagist, Tessimond wrote astute, elegant, urban poetry. He suffered from bipolar disorder, and received electro-convulsive therapy.
He first began to publish in the 1920s in literary magazines. He was to see three volumes of poetry were published during his life: Walls of Glass in 1934, Voices in a Giant City in 1947 and Selections in 1958. He contributed several poems to a 1952 edition of Bewick's Birds.
He died in 1962 from a brain haemorrhage.
In the mid-1970s he was the subject of a radio programme entitled Portrait of a Romantic. This, together with the publication of the posthumous selection Not Love Perhaps in 1972, increased interest in his work; and his poetry subsequently appeared in school books and anthologies.
A 1985 anthology of his work The Collected Poems of A. S. J. Tessimond, edited by Hubert Nicholson, contains previously unpublished works.
In 2010 a new collected poems, based closely on Nicholson's edition, was published by Bloodaxe Books.
In April 2010 an edition of Brian Patten's series Lost Voices on BBC Radio Four was committed solely to Tessimond.
Arthur Seymour John Tessimond's Works:
Walls of Glass (1934)
Voices in a Giant City (1947)
Not Love Perhaps (1972)
Collected Poems of A.S.J. Tessimond (2010)
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Cats no less liquid than their shadows
Offer no angles to the wind.
They slip, diminished, neat through loopholes
Less than themselves; will not be pinned
To rules or routes for journeys; counter
Attack with non-resistance; twist
Enticing through the curving fingers
And leave an angered empty fist.