16 November 1918|
|Died||26 January 1986
St Mary Cray, Kent, England
|Pen name||Guy Kelly (1945), Romeo Anschilo (1968)|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Literary movement||New Apocalyptics|
|Notable awards||Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize, Contemporary Poetry's Patron Prize|
|Spouse||Priscilla Craig (1940-1948); Shirley Putnam (1953- )|
|Children||Juliet Moore, Peregrine Moore.|
|Relatives||G. E. Moore (father), Dorothy Ely (mother), Timothy Moore (brother), Thomas Sturge Moore (uncle), George Herbert Ely (grandfather)|
Nicholas Moore (16 November 1918 – 26 January 1986) was an English poet, associated with the New Apocalyptics in the 1940s, whose reputation stood as high as Dylan Thomas’s. He later dropped out of the literary world.
Moore was born in Cambridge, England, the elder child of the philosopher G. E. Moore and Dorothy Ely. His paternal uncle was the poet, artist and critic Thomas Sturge Moore, his maternal grandfather was OUP editor and author George Herbert Ely and his brother was the composer Timothy Moore (1922-2003).
He was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford, Leighton Park School in Reading, the University of St Andrews, and Trinity College, Cambridge. Moore was editor and co-founder of a literary review, Seven (1938–40), while still an undergraduate. Seven, Magazine of People's Writing, had a complex later history: Moore edited it with John Goodland; it later appeared edited by Gordon Cruikshank, and then by Sydney D. Tremayne, after Randall Swingler bought it in 1941 from Philip O'Connor.
While in Cambridge Moore became closely involved with literary London, in particular Tambimuttu. He published pamphlets under the Poetry London imprint in 1941 (of George Scurfield, G. S. Fraser, Anne Ridler and his own work). This led to Moore becoming Tambimuttu's assistant. Moore later worked for the Grey Walls Press.
The Glass Tower, a selected poems collection from 1944, appeared with illustrations by the young Lucian Freud. In 1945 he edited The PL Book of Modern American Short Stories, and won Contemporary Poetry's Patron Prize (judged that year by W. H. Auden) for Girl with a Wine Glass. In 1947 he won the Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize for Girls and Birds and various other poems.
Later Moore encountered difficulty in publishing; he was in the unusual position for a British poet of having a higher reputation in the USA. His association with the "romantics" of the 1940s was, in fact, rather an inaccurate reflection of his style.
In the 1950s he worked as a horticulturist, writing a book The Tall Bearded Iris (1956). In 1968 he entered 31 separate pseudonymous translations of a single Baudelaire poem, in a competition for the Sunday Times, run by George Steiner. Each translation focused on a different element of the poem: rhyme, pattern, tropes, symbolism, etc. producing vastly different results, to illustrate the inadequacies and lacunae produced in translation. This work was published in 1973 as Spleen; it is also available online.
Longings of the Acrobats, a selected poems volume, was edited by Peter Riley and published in 1990 by Carcanet Press. An interview with Riley concerning Moore's rediscovery and later years appears as a documentary element within the "Guilty River" chapter of Iain Sinclair's novel Downriver. According to Riley, Moore was extremely prolific and left behind many unpublished poems. An example of one of Moore's "pomenvylopes" – idiosyncratic documents consisting of poems and comments typed onto envelopes and posted to friends and acquaintances – appears online at The Fortnightly Review.
His Selected Poems was published by Shoestring Press in 2014.
- A Wish in Season (1941)
- The Island and the Cattle (1941)
- A Book for Priscilla (1941)
- Buzzing around with a Bee (1941)
- The Cabaret, the Dancer, the Gentlemen (1942)
- The Glass Tower (1944)
- Thirty-Five Anonymous Odes (published anonymously, 1944)
- The War of the Little Jersey Cows (published under the pseudonym "Guy Kelly", 1945)
- The Anonymous Elegies and other poems (published anonymously, 1945)
- Recollections of the Gala: Selected Poems 1943-48 (1950)
- The Tall Bearded Iris (1956)
- Anxious To Please (1968) (published under the pseudonym (anagram) "Romeo Anschilo", 1995 by Oasis Books)
- Identity (1969)
- Resolution and Identity (1970)
- Spleen (1973)
- Lacrimae Rerum (1988)
- Longings of the Acrobats: Selected Poems (1990)
- The Orange Bed (2011)
- Selected Poems (2014)
- Ousby, Ian (1996). The Cambridge Paperback Guide to Literature in English. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 267. ISBN 0 521 436273.
- Sorrell, Martin (25 January 2012). "On Nicholas Moore". The Fortnightly Review. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "The Papers of George Edward Moore (1873 - 1958) Philosopher". The National Archives. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Nicholas Moore (British poet)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "Father in law G. H. ("Gaffer") Ely and his wife Margaret". George Edward Moore: Personal Papers and Correspondence. Cambridge University Library. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
- Marshal, Nicholas (10 March 2003). "Obituaries: Timothy Moore - Composer and eccentric, his influences included madrigals and jazz". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 Jan 2014.
- Moore, Nicholas. "Nicholas Moore Collection". University of Reading. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Ubu Editions: Nicholas Moore — Spleen, 31 Translations of Je suis commme le roi". Moore. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- Tolley, A. Trevor (1985). The Poetry of the Forties. Manchester University Press. pp. 110–111. ISBN 9780719017087. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- Sinclair, Ian (2004). Downriver. London: Penguin UK. ISBN 9780-141906157.
- Lloyd, Rosemary (2002). Baudelaire's World. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4026-7.
- Moore, Nicholas (1973). Spleen: thirty-one versions of Baudelaire's Je suis comme le roi. London: The Menard Press/The Blacksuede Boot Press. ISBN 978-0951375303.
- Moore, Nicholas (2011). Peter Riley, eds. The Orange Bed (PDF). Retrieved 11 Feb 2014.
- Moore, Nicholas (2014). Lucas, John; Welton, Matthew, eds. Selected poems. Beeston, UK: Shoestring Press. p. 250. ISBN 9781910323182.
- Milne, Drew. "A Neo-Modernist Chameleon". Poetry London. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
Francis Nenik: The Marvel of Biographical Bookkeeping. Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire, Readux Books 2013, Sample.
- Nicholas Moore, Touched by Poetic Genius, an article by John Yau in Hyperallergic
- Spleen: Thirty-one versions of Baudelaire's Je suis comme le roi... by Nicholas Moore was first published in book form as Spleen 1973 by Blacksuede Boot Press and Menard Press.
- "A Pomenvylope by Nicholas Moore", an essay with an example, by Martin Sorrell in The Fortnightly Review.