|Charles Causley is buried next to his
mother's grave in the St. Thomas Churchyard, Launceston, Cornwall,
(Barely 100 yards from where he was born).
Charles Causley's Grave (Photo by Paul Howlett)
Causley, an only child, lived and worked for most of his life in Cornwall. His
father, a groom and gardener, died when he was 7 years old from
wounds sustained in the First World War. (Causley wrote a number of
tender and observant poems about his parents - see Eden Rock
Between 1940 -1946 he served in the Royal Navy -
during which time he started to write poetry. After the war he
secured a job as a primary school teacher, a career which he pursued
for the rest of his life.
Causley's empathy with children enabled him to compose imaginative stories and poetry for them.
St. Thomas Church, Launceston
The bulk of his poetry is characterised
by a simple, powerful style which appealed to a wide audience. However, through out his long career as a poet,
he remained resolutely untrendy.
He was influenced by folk songs,
hymns and ballads - possibly as a result of having played the
piano as a young man in dance band. His work was also influenced by
Both Philip Larkin and
John Betjeman were admirers of his work.
In fact, one of Larkin's final poems Dear Charles, My Muse asleep
or dead is directly addressed to him. After Betjeman's
death many British poets were in favour of him becoming the next
Causley's poetry collections include Farewell Aggie Weston
(1951), Survivor's Leave (1953), Underneath the Water (1968) and
Figgie Hobbin (1970).
Death of a Poet, Chief Petty Officer,
Convoy, At The British War Cemetery, Bayeux, and
Recruiting Drive are some of his most popular poems.
He was awarded a CBE in 1986 for
services to poetry.
|They are waiting for me somewhere beyond Eden Rock:
|My father, twenty-five, in the same suit
|Of genuine Irish Tweed, his terrier Jack
|Still two years old and trembling at his feet.
|My mother, twenty-three, in a sprigged dress
|Drawn at the waist, ribbon in her straw hat,
|Has spread the stiff white cloth over the grass.
|Her hair, the colour of wheat, takes on the light.
from Eden Rock
Charles Causley Society