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William Jeffrey (1896-1946) - Poet

He was born on 26th September 1896 at Kirk of Shotts, Lanarkshire, Scotland, the son of a colliery manager. He was educated at Wishaw High School and attended the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh before his education was interrupted by service with the Royal Artillery during World War I. After being gassed on the Western Front, he turned to journalism in 1920, working for the Glasgow Evening Times and later the Glasgow Herald as a leader-writer and drama critic. He died on 11 February 1946. Much of Jeffrey's early work is top-heavy with mystic symbolism and the gravitas of his subject matter, but his poetry in Scots shows a deftness of touch and contains a rich vocabulary much influenced by the work of Hugh MacDiarmid. During his lifetime Jeffrey published several volumes of verse, but the best was his posthumous Sea dimmer (1947). He was one of the early members of the Scottish Renaissance of letters.

Works: Prometheus Returns (1921); The Wise Men Come to Town (1923); The Nymph (1924); The Doom of Atlas (1926); The Lamb of Lomond (1926); Mountain Songs (1928); The Golden Stag (1932); Eagle of Coruisk (1933); Fantasia Written in an Industrial Town (1933); Sea Glimmer (1947).

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