Charles Tomlinson, photographed by Norman McBeath
By ALAN JENKINS
Charles Tomlinson, who died last week, was born in 1927, published his “first pamphlet of verse” in 1951 and his first volume in 1955, and spent most of his life teaching English literature at Bristol University. That looks, on the face of it, like the career of an archetypal Movement poet, but Tomlinson’s work tells a rather different story. From that first volume, The Necklace, on, Tomlinson stood at a kind of crossroads, his collections embodying the tension between opposing tendencies in postwar Anglophone poetry: raw and cooked, “art” and “life”, inner and outer, parochial and international – that can still be felt today . . . .