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Andrew Young (1885-1971) - Poet

He was born on 29th April 1885 in Elgin, Scotland, and was educated at the High School of Edinburgh and
the University. His formal education was completed as a theological student at New College, Edinburgh, and he was ordained a minister of the United Free Church of Scotland in 1912, his first charge being in the village of Temple, Midlothian. During World War I he was attached to the YMCA in France and in 1918 he left Scotland to become minister of the English Presbyterian Church at Hove in Sussex. In 1936 there began his conversion to the Church of England and after a period as a curate in Plaistow, Sussex, he became Vicar of Stoneygate in the same county from 1941 until his retirement in 1959. His last years were spent in Yapton near Arundel, where he died in 1971. Young's very earliest short volumes of verse,  Songs of Night (1910), Boaz and Ruth (1920) and Thirty-One Poems (1922), reveal him as a poet whose vision embraces not only an accurate description of nature and natural objects, but also of the part they play in the Christian scheme of life, death and regeneration. Inherent in all his works is an almost mystical belief in the sanctity of nature and all its creatures. The publication of Winter Harvest in 1933 and of his first Collected Poems in 1936 confirmed his reputation as a poet in the tradition of Thomas Traherne (1637—74) and Henry Vaughan (1622-95), able to delineate the English countryside economically and accurately and to interpret its wonders in terms of a resolute Christian faith. Young's main statement of his religious beliefs is contained in his verse play Nicodemus (1937) and in his long poem Out of the World and Back (1958), which traces the journey of the soul from the dark night of despair to the ecstasy of a reunion with God: 'New eyes would see/The invisible world'. A botanist of some note. Young published four prose books on the botany, history and folklore of the British Isles, including The Poet and the Landscape (1962), a series of portraits of British pastoral poets as seen in their rural settings. In 1952 he was awarded the Queen's Medal for poetry.

Works: Songs of Night {1910); Boaz and Ruth (1920); The Death of Eli (1921); Thirty-One Poems (1922); The Adversary (1923); The Bird-Case (1926); The Cuckoo-Clock (1929); The New Shepherd (1931); Winter Harvest (1933); The White Blackbird (1935); Collected Poems (1936); Nicodemus (1937); Speak to the Earth (1939); A Prospect of Flowers (1945); The Green Man (1947); A Retrospect of Flowers (1950); Collected Poems (1950); Into Hades (1952); A Prospeel of Britain (1956); Out of the World and Back (1958); Quiet as Moss (1959); Collected Poems (1960); The Poet and the Landscape (1962).

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