David Jones (poet)

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The two folk poets Evan Jenkins and David Jones discuss their rhymes in a shoemaker's workshop (1959)

David Jones (born November 1, 1895 in Brockley, Kent , † October 28, 1974 in Harrow, Middlesex ) was a British painter, graphic artist and poet of Welsh descent. His main work The Anathémata was described by WH Auden as "probably the best poem in English of the 20th century".


David Jones attended the Camberwell School of Arts from 1910 to 1914 and was initially known as a painter, graphic artist and illustrator. When war broke out in the Artists' Rifles, Jones tried to be accepted into the army voluntarily. However, it was rejected as 'not suitable'. In January 1915, however, he managed to be accepted into the 15th Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers . Jones came to the Western Front in France in the summer of 1916 and was wounded once there; in February 1918 he was sent to Ireland to heal with a severe fever, where he was also demobilized. From 1919 to 1921 he studied at the Westminster School of Art. In 1921 Jones converted to Catholicism and came under the influence of the Catholic artist Eric Gill ; he lived for some time in the mid-1920s with Gill and his group of disciples in a former monastery in Capel-y-ffin . Jones' works often deal with religious subjects.

In 1937 his first book In Parenthesis was published , a poetic reworking of his war experiences. In 1938 Jones received the Hawthornden Prize for the work .

His next book, the major work The Anathémata , on which Jones had worked for decades, was published in 1952 under the editing of TS Eliot . The epic poem combines influences from modernism with Welsh-British myths and Roman Catholic elements. It was Eliot's The Waste Land and the Cantos of Ezra Pound compared.

Further fragments of poetry that followed the Anathémata appeared in 1974 under the title The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments .

Jones also wrote several essays on art, literature, religion, and history.

German edition

David Jones: Anathémata. Fragments of an attempt to write by David Jones. An edition in English and German, translated, introduced and commented by Cordelia Spaemann. Herder, Basel 1988.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ David Jones in The First World War Poetry Digital Archive
  2. ^ J. Miles: Eric Gill & David Jones at Capel-y-ffin. 1992, ISBN 1-85411-051-9

Web links