Joseph Skipsey

(March 17, 1832 - September 3,1903 / Percy, Northumberland)

Joseph Skipsey
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Born March 17, 1832, in Percy, Northumberland. Joseph Skipsey was a colliery worker at seven years of age. He made himself educated, publishing verse in local newspapers until he was gradually able to leave harsh labour behind him. He earned a living as caretaker to schools and colleges. He and his wife Sara Ann Fendley, married in 1854, had eight children. Of the 8 children, only the last three, Elizabeth, Joseph and Cuthbert survived to adulthood and old age.

Skipsey had several literary positions: Assistant Librarian, Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society (1863), and custoldian of Shakespeare's birthplace at Stratford-on-Avon (1889-91). He was awarded a annual civil list... more »

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Best Poem of Joseph Skipsey


FROM the pipe-end off it glides,
Many hued appearing;
What, if cynic harsh derides,
Sets the boys a-staring.
In their eyes gleam its dyes,
Glow with radiance rarer
Till they cry 'how bright! Yon sky
Hath no planet fairer!'
Nay, nought else can be so fair,
Naught, sir, more entrancing;
Blow it here, blow it there—
Keep the bubble dancing!

Sailing thro' the air it goes,
While the urchins stretching
Out their chins, upon their toes
Blow the thing bewitching:
So blows Dick, and 'ha, ha!' cries,
At the ...

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