Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

(1878 - 1962 / England)

Biography of Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson poet

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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The Crane

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,
Or so, at least, it seems to me,
As, day and night, adream I lie
Upon my crippled back in bed,
And watch it against the sky.

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