The poet compares a painting on canvas to a poem. They are both similar forms of art but, where one
uses the brush and the knife to paint a picture on canvas, the other uses the mind to paint a picture in the
ABOUT THE POET
Phoebe Hesketh (nee Rayner) was born in 1909 in Preston (Lancashire). Her father was an early
radiologist, whereas her mother was a violinist.
She attended Dagfield School at Birkdale near Southport, then Cheltenham Ladies' College although
leaving school at 17 to nurse her mother who was terminally ill. Teachers noticed and fostered her poetic
She would marry Aubrey Hesketh when she was 22 years old. He was the director of a Bolton spinning
mill, wealthy enough to allow her the time to focus on writing poetry. Indeed, eight years later her first
collection was published - which she called Poems - although she would later question some of this
work as being "juvenile".
During World War II Hesketh edited the women's page of the Bolton Evening News. In 1948 came
her second volume of poetry - Lean Forward, Spring! - which won her literary acclaim. She would
go on to produce sixteen books of poetry.
After the war she did some freelance lecturing and teaching of poetry. She was elected a Fellow of the
Royal Society of Literature in 1956, and a Fellow of the University of Central Lancashire in 1990.
For almost all of her life she lived in Lancashire, a landscape frequently described in her poetry and in her
prose books. Indeed, she is most renowned for her poems depicting nature. Critics often compared her
to Emily Bronte.
She died in February 2005. She was then 96 years of age.
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