Anne Barbara Ridler
Biography of Anne Barbara Ridler
Anne Barbara Ridler OBE (née Bradby) was a British poet, and Faber and Faber editor, selecting the Faber A Little Book of Modern Verse with T. S. Eliot (1941). Her Collected Poems (Carcanet Press) were published in 1994. She turned to libretto work and verse plays; it was later in life that she earned official recognition, receiving an OBE in 2001.
Ridler was the daughter of HC Bradby, a housemaster at Rugby School, where she was born. Her mother, Violet Bradby, born Milford, wrote popular children's stories and was the sister of Humphrey S. Milford, Publisher to the University of Oxford. One of her great-grandfathers was Charles Richard Sumner, Bishop of Winchester, a brother of John Bird Sumner, Archbishop of Canterbury. Her uncle, GF Bradby, was the author of The Lanchester Tradition (1919), while her aunt Barbara Bradby was the joint author of The Village Labourer (1911). Her cousins included the composer Robin Milford and the Rev. Dick Milford, vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford.
Anne Bradby was educated at Downe House School and later published a biography of her headmistress, Olive Willis. After six months in Florence and Rome, she took a diploma in journalism at King's College London.
In 1938, she married Vivian Ridler, the future Printer to Oxford University (1958–78), but then the manager of the Bunhill Press, London, and they had two daughters and two sons.
She edited Charles Williams: The Image of the City and other Essays (1958) and Charles Williams: Selected Writings (1961). A Christian and friend and correspondent of C. S. Lewis, she was on the edge of the Inklings group. Also closely associated with TS Eliot, she wrote a short but powerful poem, "I Who am Here Dissembled", full of allusions to images in Eliot's own poems, for the anthology T. S. Eliot: A Symposium in honour of his sixtieth birthday.
For a short time in the 1940s, Ridler was also a successful Verse Dramatist with such plays as Cain (1943) and Shadow Factory: A Nativity Play (1945).
Anne Barbara Ridler's Works:
Shakespeare Criticism 1919-1935 (editor), Oxford University Press 1936 - out of print
Poems, Oxford University Press, 1939 - out of print
A Dream Observed and Other Poems, Poetry London 1941 - out of print
A Little Book of Modern Verse (editor), Faber and Faber 1941 - out of print
The Faber Book of Modern Verse (editor), Faber and Faber 1941-1951 - out of print
The Nine Bright Shiners, Faber and Faber 1943 - out of print
The Golden Bird and Other Poems, Faber and Faber 1951 - out of print
A Matter of Life and Death, Faber and Faber 1959 - out of print
Shakespeare Criticism 1935-1960 (editor), Oxford University Press 1963 - out of print
Thomas Traherne: Poems, Centuries and Three Thanksgivings (editor), Faber and Faber 1966 - out of print
Some Time After and Other Poems, Faber and Faber 1972 - out of print
Dies Natalis, Faber and Faber 1980 - out of print
New and Selected Poems, Faber and Faber 1988
Profitable Wonders: Aspects of Thomas Traherne (prose), Morehouse Pub Co 1989
A Measure of English Poetry, Perpetua Press 1991
Collected Poems, Carcanet 1997
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Anne Barbara Ridler Poems
Since we through war awhile must part Sweetheart, and learn to lose Daily use Of all that satisfied our heart:
For A Child Expected
Lovers whose lifted hands are candles in winter, Whose gentle ways like streams in the easy summer, Lying together
We thought they were gulls at first, while they were distant- The two cranes flying out of a natural morning,
Now that you lie In London afar, And may sleep longer Though lonelier,
A Dream Observed
Out from his bed the breaking seas By waking eyes unseen Now fall, aquatic creatures whirl And he whirls through the ambient green.
Poem For A Christmas Broadcast
Woman s Voice Perhaps you find the angel most improbable? It spoke to men asleep, their minds ajar For once to admit the entrance of a stranger.
Under cool trees the City tombs extend, and nearer lie stones above Blake's and Bunyan's bones to Vivian's working days than I.
The Spring Equinox
Now is the pause between asleep and awake: Two seasons take A colour and quality each from each as yet. The new stage-set
Nothing Is Lost
Nothing is lost. We are too sad to know that, or too blind; Only in visited moments do we understand: It is not that the dead return ---
Lying in bed this morning, just a year Since our first days, I was trying to assess -- Against my natural caution -- by desire And how the fact outdid it, my happiness:
Beyond the Chiltern coast, this church: A lighthouse in dry seas of standing corn. Bees hive in the tower; the outer stone Pared and frittered in sunlight, flakes with the years:
Collected Poems (1994)
Lying in bed this morning, just a year Since our first days, I was trying to assess - Against my natural caution - by desire And how the fact outdid it, my happiness:
The raging colour of this cold Friday Eats up our patience like a fire, Consumes our willingness to endure, Here the crumpled maple, a gold fabric,
A long while, a long long while it seems: The bat-winged figure shaking his robe, The cameras purring.
A Dream Observed
Out from his bed the breaking seas
By waking eyes unseen
Now fall, aquatic creatures whirl
And he whirls through the ambient green.
The sea lion and the scolopendra
Lolling in sleep he sees
Strange in their ways, and the swift changes
Their landscape makes, from shells to trees.