Saturday, November 9, 2013
Poet Jack Beeching
Jack Beeching was born in Hastings, Sussex, England, in 1922, and died in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in 2001.
Poet Jack Beeching with daughter Tamar
Beeching's poetry is considered moving, original, clear-sighted, compressed, and funny. This was a view expressed by the editor of Qualm in 2003, a high opinion shared by the editors at Penguin circa 1970, and reflected in his obituary in The Independent thirty years later, whose author speaks also of Beeching's 'disciplined metre, subtle half-rhyme and a luxuriant syntax which expressed at times distinctly "difficult" metaphysical concerns'. His writing in old age was perhaps at least as strong and trenchant as that of any of his peers of a similar age.
Although he continued to write until his death, during the second half of his life his work fell into neglect. This neglect was partly attributable to his having to live, because of his damaged lung, abroad in drier climates, including Greece, Turkey, Guatemala, Lucca, Genoa, Menton, and Majorca. It was a life of near-poverty in tiny apartments.
He was published in Penguin Modern Poets No. 16 in 1970, and near the end of his life brought out a collection, Poems 1940-2000 (Art Ojo Nuevo). He was a novelist and writer of historical books, but stated "Poetry is my avocation; the other forms of writing are a means of livelihood".