Ralph Hodgson

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Ralph Hodgson (9 September 1871 – 3 November 1962), Order of the Rising Sun (Japanese 旭日章),was an English poet, very popular in his lifetime on the strength of a small number of anthology pieces, such as The Bull. He was one of the more 'pastoral' of the Georgian poets. In 1954, he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

He seems to have covered his tracks in relation to much of his life; he was averse to publicity. This has led to claims that he was reticent. Far from that being the case, his friend Walter De La Mare found him an almost exhausting talker; but he made a point of personal privacy. He kept up a copious correspondence with other poets and literary figures, including those he met in his time in Japan such as Takeshi Saito.

Early life

He was born in Darlington. From about 1890 he worked for a number of London publications. He was a comic artist, signing himself 'Yorick', and became art editor on C. B. Fry's Weekly Magazine of Sports and Out-of-Door Life. His first poetry collection, The Last Blackbird and Other Lines, appeared in 1907.

It is said that his father was a coal merchant, and that he ran away from home while at school.

Poet and publisher

In 1912 he founded a small press, At the Sign of the Flying Fame, with the illustrator Claud Lovat Fraser (1890–1921) and the writer and journalist Holbrook Jackson (1874–1948). It published his collection The Mystery (1913). Hodgson received the Edmond de Polignac Prize in...
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