Stella Gibbons

Stella Gibbons

About Stella Gibbons

Stella Gibbons, born on January 5, 1902 in London and died on December 19, 1989 in the same city, is a British poet and writer. In September 1927, she published in the literary journal The Criterion, edited by T. S. Eliot, the poem The Giraffes which received great reviews from Virginia Woolf. From then on, the publications of poems and short stories multiplied. She received great critical and public success with the publication in 1932 of her first novel Cold Comfort Farm, a satire of rural Britain which had been awarded the Prix Étranger, the foreign novel category of the prestigious French literary prize, the Prix Femina. The main themes of her novels are humor and satire which are recurrent and intensifies to the detriment of her poetic texts. During the remainder of the 1930s Gibbons produced five more novels, as well as two poetry collections, a children's book, and a number of short stories.
Gibbons always considered herself a serious poet rather than a comic writer. Poetry was Gibbons’ first and possibly last love: despite her success as a comic novelist, she saw herself as a poet until the end of her life. She published two collections of poetry in the 1930s, the latter of which, The Lowland Verses (1938) contains The Marriage of the Machine, an early lament on the effects of industrial pollution: What Oil, What Poison lulls/Your wings and webs, my cormorants and gulls?. In 1950 Gibbons published her Collected Poems. Gibbons's writing, in prose or verse, did not lack sensitivity. She had what one analyst described as a rare ability to enter into the feelings of the uncommunicative and to bring to life the emotions of the unremarkable.

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