Gavin Ewart

English poet

Gavin Buchanan Ewart (4 February 191625 October 1995) was a prolific British poet known for his witty and sometimes unsettling treatments of unlikely subjects.

Blue Plaque erected on 10th January 2009 by The Putney Society at Kenilworth Court, Lower Richmond Road, London


  • Miss Twye was soaping her breasts in the bath
    When she heard behind her a meaning laugh
    And to her amazement she discovered
    A wicked man in the bathroom cupboard.
    • "Miss Twye", line 1, from Poems and Songs (1939)
  • My life may be much happier to-morrow
    Hunger and love that press against the body,
    The two eternal needs we recognise,
    Desires that so relentlessly pursue one,
    May get me down or raise me to the skies
    And make me a Don Bradman or Don Juan.
    • "Days of Contempt", line 4, from Poems and Songs (1939)
  • Everything was twice repeated,
    Sometimes more than twice repeated,
    As they worked through the agenda
    (It seemed elastic, that agenda,
    Becoming longer, never shorter),
    Their utterances grew long, not shorter,
    It was just like spreading butter.
    • "The Meeting", line 11, from The New Ewart (1982)


  • The back streets of Fulham, Yorkshiremen in pub gardens, a laboratory rabbit, office friendships, a cutting, a quotation – anything can start him off, and when he brings us back from the outing we are usually either shaken or stirred, and sometimes both, reflecting that there is really nothing, however surreal, extravagant, improper or mundane, that Ewart could not write a poem about.
    • Philip Larkin "Horn of Plenty", in Further Requirements ([2001] 2002) p. 320.

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