Donald Alfred Davie

(1922-1995 / Barnsley)

Donald Alfred Davie
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Donald Alfred Davie (17 July 1922 – 18 September 1995) was an English Movement poet, and literary critic. His poems in general are philosophical and abstract, but often evoke various landscapes.

Davie was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England, a son of Baptist parents. He began his education at Barnsley Hogate Grammar School, and he later attended St Catharine's College, Cambridge. His studies there were interrupted by service during the war in the Royal Navy in Arctic Russia, where he taught himself the language. In the last year of the war, in Devon, he married Doreen John. After returning to Cambridge, he continued his studies and received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. He returned ... more »

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Best Poem of Donald Alfred Davie

In California

Chemicals ripen the citrus;
There are rattlesnakes in the mountains,
And on the shoreline
Hygiene, inhuman caution.

Beef in cellophane
Tall as giraffes,
The orange-rancher's daughters
Crop their own groves, mistrustful.

Perpetual summer seems
Precarious on the littoral. We drive
Inland to prove
The risk we sense. At once

Winter claps-to like a shutter
High over the Ojai valley, and discloses
A double crisis,
Winter and Drought.

Ranges on mountain-ranges,
Empty, unwatered, crumbling,
Hot colours come at the eye.
It ...

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