Bernard Gutteridge

(1916 - 1985 / Southampton, England)

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Bernard Gutteridge (1916 – 1985) was an English poet, known for poems about the Spanish Civil War, or from his World War II experiences in Madagascar, India and with the 36th Division of the British Army in Burma (with Alun Lewis).

He was born in Southampton and educated at Cranleigh. He worked in advertising both before and after the war (part of the time for the J. Walter Thompson ... more »

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Best Poem of Bernard Gutteridge

Sniper

Moves in the rocks with inching fingers.
We among the feathery banana trees
Imagine for him his aim: the steel helmet
And English face filling the backsight's V.
Again as it was last time, that spurting noise,
Thud, and the writhing figure in long grass.
until we match precision with precision:
We move ten men to one and have him then.

I saw the sniper in the afternoon. The rifle
Lay there beside him neatly like his shooting,
The grass twined all about his cap.
He had killed neatly but we had set
Ten men about him to write death in jags ...

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