I admit to being ignorant of Thomas Gunn, an Anglo-American poet (1929-2004) until

late on a sultry July friday evening, half-asleep, half-awake,

his life story seeped into my consciousness courtesy of:


The production is narrated compellingly by novelist Colm Toibin and interspersed with

readings by Gunn’s close associates.

From the unexpected horror of his mother’s tragic suicide when Gunn was just 15 years of age;

to following his long-term lover to the USA (and hearing him reading Gunn’s last ever published poem is so moving);

Gunn’s intriguing “double-life” – academic by day; wild adventurer of the night-by-night;

it was Gunn’s focus on producing poetry “with a purity of language and use of traditional metrics”

as a Cambridge University undergraduate that led him to being associated with the “Cambridge movement”

(e.g. Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes etc).


Gunn’s oeuvre, his considered capacity for self-expression is what really captivated me as poetry reader, listener, writer.

Please click/listen to the bbc link and I’d be glad to read your comments soon