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Author Topic: Alan Ross , Clayton Manor, Hassocks  (Read 489 times)
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« on: July 04, 2016, 20:28:22 PM »

Greetings, have been reading poetry of Alan Ross (1922- 2001) .  I wrote an entry for the Great War at Sea Poetry blog in September 2015 ; highlighting his Arctic Convoys experiences .

Realised that Alan Ross owned a property called Clayton Manor near Brighton. David Hughes, the editor of a posthumous anthology 'Alan Ross Poems Selected and Introduced by David Hughes' , Harvill Press , 2005 recalls staying there with Alan Ross from the 1950's through to the the 1970's.
Ross was a racehorse owner, editor of 'London Magazine', and ardent cricket fan, and travel writer.

I am trying to find Clayton Manor . Think that this must be the place

David Hughes' anthology was well reviewed in 'The Guardian'  and quoted from the closing lines of Ross' poem 'The Sea 1939-1945'

   "For the children of children who dream of the ocean
   and hear in its singing the songs of their fathers,
   the morning must answer with a sea of assurance.
   Or else there is no rest for the mocking voices,
   and no meaning in the tides of compassion, where
   the drowned drift condemned to the fishes."

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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2016, 10:39:07 AM »

Have updated my blog to feature Alan Ross' poem 'Arctic Waking' .

More on Ross' connection to Sussex to follow but thought that I would add this poem.

Off Brighton Pier -Alan Ross

" I saw him, a squat man with red hair,
Grown into sideburns, fishing off Brighton pier;
Suddenly he bent, and in a lumpy bag
Rummaged for bait, letting his line dangle,
And I noticed the stiffness of his leg
That thrust out, like a tripod, at an angle.
Then I remembered: the sideburns, that gloss
Of slicked-down ginger on a skin like candy floss.
He was there, not having moved, as last,
On a windless night, leaning against the mast,
I saw him, groping a bag for numbers.
And the date was the 17th of September,
Fifteen years back, and we were playing Tombola
During the last Dog, someone beginning to holler
'Here you are' for a full house, and I remember
He'd just called 'Seven and Six, she was worth it',
When - without contacts or warning - we were hit.
Some got away with it, a few bought it.
And I recall now, when they carried him ashore,
Fishing gear, lashed to his hammock, wishing
Him luck, and his faint smile, more
To himself than to me, when he saluted
From the stretcher, and, cadging a fag,
Cracked, 'I'm quids in, it's only one leg,
They'll pension me off to go fishing."

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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2017, 13:04:54 PM »

Happy New Year to everyone one here.

The War Poets Association website now has a short piece I wrote about Alan Ross, about 500 words. Part of a longer feature  on Ross which comes to about 3,500 words which remains unpublished.
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