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JACK SHARRATT SELECTED POETRY (1951-2001)

An eclectic mix of poetry by Leeds-based poet Jack Sharratt. He was a broadcast poet for the BBC, especially for the radio program 'Northern Drift'. His work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, above all the short poem 'Joe the Shepherd' and 'Stella Coulson'. This was the first full-length compilation of his major verse and includes all of his most popular poems as well as some that he had written especially for this commissioned volume. This anthology includes a brief biographical note on the author as few details have been published previously. It will be of special interest to students of modern poetry from the North of England. Jack Sharratt was part of the literary group that included Keith Waterhouse (author of 'Billy Liar') though he would remain Leeds-bound all his life and produce all his work 'up north'. A second anthology of his verse is also available entitled 'They May Never Pass this Way Again' including new verse (written between 2004-2006). This is a pure-text edition and every page is pure poetry! Includes quotes by other poetic authors at the start and end of the volume.

A Biographical Sketch: Jack Sharratt, Poet, born on the 22nd of August 1926 in a working-class district of Leeds, was a voracious reader from his earliest years, mythology of the Ancient Greeks his first literary love, bewailing the death of Theseus at seven years of age. By ten he had exhausted his local library of all books of interest yet the librarians still tried their best to meet the demands of his insatiable curiosity. At school he was excused from the regular classes and left to do his own private reading in a quiet corner of the room, absorbing Momsen's and Grote's histories in his breaktime. Although he began writing in his teens he says that it was only at a far later stage that he took the pursuit seriously. Asked what authors were an influence on him in formative years he says "Everything was grist to the mill of course" - mentioning the names of Sappho, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Swinburne and Byron among many others. After a full poetic life he confesses to still finding poetry "a baffling thing", and is ever an explorer of new forms. As for the moderns, he says: "I do not understand Contemporary Poetry. It started with Eliot. I have not understood it since." From the sixties onwards he discovered renown as a writer when his poems and sketches were regularly broadcast on BBC Radio (above all on 'Northern Drift') and he appeared in journals of poetry, anthologies, festivals and attended readings.

Features of this Anthology: The present volume of "Selected Poetry" brings together some of his most popular works ('They May Never Pass This Way Again', 'Joe The Shepherd'. 'Stella Coulson') as well as heretofore unpublished works (such as 'Six Notes of Caution', 'Gettysburg', 'Famly History' and more). Jack Sharratt has also appeared in two other volumes on Living Time: 'No/nsense: Views from the Borderland' and 'The Poetry of Living Time'. He has appeared in two dozen other anthologies since the 1960s.

An Extract:
Connoisseurs with Quantum Effect

Autumn brings a sharp etched view
that fixes leaves and twigs on a wide sky,
chilled to an almost crackling ice blue,
where chevrons of migrating birds fly.

Two connoiseurs gaze and congratulate themselves,
remembering pictures from a recent showing,
and talk of painters who had outdone this before
with their contours and masses more flowing.

Yet while this seasonal viewing runs on,
the studious critics are unaware
of the Quantum Effect in fine observation
that alters what is seen when they stare.

As their comments echo back from the trees,
a child, kicking drifted leaves on a run,
has a flash of another scene far more severe,
all jet black with a screaming white sun.

Tribute of an Author: "He was the greatest 'reader' I ever knew and one of the finest poets ever to write out of Leeds. I re-read his poetry from time to time - it always have a sharp effect." - Edouard d'Araille.

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