Elizabeth Jennings

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Elizabeth Jennings (20 July 1926 – 25 October 2001) was an English poet, noted for her clarity of style and simplicity of literary approach. Her Roman Catholicism (she was a convert) coloured much of her work.

Jennings was born in Lincolnshire, but her family moved to Oxford when she was six. There she later attended St Anne's College. After graduation, she became a librarian.

She is not generally regarded as an innovator. Her work displays a simplicity of metre and rhyme shared with Philip Larkin, Kingsley Amis and Thom Gunn, all members of the group of English poets known as The Movement. She always made it clear that, whilst her life, which included a spell of severe mental illness, contributed to the themes contained within her work, she did not write explicitly autobiographical poetry.

She is buried in Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford.



Her works include An Anthology of Modern Verse 1940–1960 (1961), and a revised and updated collection, Collected Poems 1953–1985, (1986) that won the 1987 WH Smith Literary Award.

  • Poems (1953)
  • A Way of Looking (1955)
  • A Sense of the World (1958)
  • Song For a Birth or a Death (1961)
  • Recoveries (1964)
  • The Mind has Mountains (1966)
  • Collected Poems 1967 (1967)
  • The Animals' Arrival (1969)
  • Lucidities (1970)
  • Relationships (1972)
  • Growing Points (1975)
  • Consequently I Rejoice (1977)
  • After the Ark (1978)
  • Moments of Grace (1980)
  • Celebrations and Elegies (1912)
  • Extending the Territory (1985)
  • Collected Poems (1953-1985) (1986)


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