Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
Biography of Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
Wilfred Wilson Gibson (1878-1962), a close friend of Rupert Brooke and a protégé of Edward Marsh, was born in Hexham, England in 1878.
Gibson worked for a time as a social worker in London's East End. He published his first verse in 1902, Mountain Lovers. He had several poems included in various Georgian poetry collections prior to the war. He also wrote a play, Daily Bread, which was produced in 1910.
After the outbreak of war, Gibson served as a private in the infantry on the Western Front. It was therefore from the perspective of the ordinary soldier that Gibson wrote his war poetry.
His active service was brief, but his poetry belies his lack of experience, Breakfast being a prime example of ironic war verse written during the very early stages of the conflict.
Following the armistice, Gibson continued writing poetry and plays. His work was particularly concerned with the poverty of industrial workers and village labourers. Collected Poems: 1905-1925 was published in 1926, The Island Stag in 1927, and Within Four Walls in 1950.
Wilfred Wilson Gibson died in 1962.
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Wilfrid Wilson Gibson Poems
"And will you cut a stone for him, To set above his head? And will you cut a stone for him-- A stone for him?" she said.
So long had I travelled the lonely road, Though, now and again, a wayfairing friend Walked shoulder to shoulder, and lightened the load, I often would think to myself as I strode,
The Dancing Seal
When we were building Skua Light-- The first men who had lived a night Upon that deep-sea Isle-- As soon as chisel touched the stone,
The Blind Rower
And since he rowed his father home, His hand has never touched an oar. All day he wanders on the shore, And hearkens to the swishing foam.
The biggest crane on earth, it lifts Two hundred ton more easily Than I can lift my heavy head: And when it swings, the whole world shifts,
The Lonely Road
The Lonely Road So long had I travelled the lonely road, Though, now and again, a wayfairing friend
A HANDFUL of cherries She gave me in passing, The wizened old woman,
"I cannot quite remember.... There were five Dropt dead beside me in the trench—and three Whispered their dying messages to me...."
The Dancing Seal
When we were building Skua Light--
The first men who had lived a night
Upon that deep-sea Isle--
As soon as chisel touched the stone,
The friendly seals would come ashore;
And sit and watch us all the while,
As though they'd not seen men before;
And so, poor beasts, had never known
Men had the heart to do them harm.