Sunday, December 13, 2015


The Coventry Arts Umbrella Club has published a selection of  Terrence Watson's poems under the editorial direction of Bob Wright and this book is now available at all major booksellers (including Amazon). The publisher is Earlsdon-based Takahe Publishing Ltd. Terry was a leading light in the Coventry Umbrella Club that was formally established in 1955 and continues to this day.

You can find out more about Terry and a link to his new book of poetry here

Terry Watson was born Terence Charles Watson in 1920. He was educated at the Stationers' Company School in London studied at Magdalen College Oxford under the tutorial guidance of C S Lewis. His studies were interrupted by service in the RAF in the Second World War and he finally graduated in 1947. He taught for five years at Cottesmore School and came to Coventry in 1955 to take up a post teaching English and Art at King Henry VIII School in Coventry. He became a leading light in the Coventry Umbrella Club that was formally established in 1955 and continues to this day. One of Terry's earliest role at the Umbrella was as editor of the club's well respected literary magazine Umbrella, which boasted work by likes of Phillip Larkin and E.M. Forster. Terry shared his wide ranging skills with the Umbrella,as literary editor, poet, theatre director, painter and exhibition curator and promoter as well as heading up the Umbrella Club organisation.  Above all he was passionate about encouraging artistic creativity in others,especially those who seemed to lack confidence in their own potential. In later years he taught Creative Writing at Tile Hill College and in his 70's became interested in yoga and practised to the degree that he qualified as a teacher of Yoga (Sironami Tejas) in Florida USA.He was proud to be made Freeman of the City of London and a member of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and newspaper Makers.Terry passed away in 2009 at the age of 89. This volume was edited by Bob Wright and includes a range of Terry's poetical works including of his war poems written in active service.

Sample poems -


of the sea
fell sheer

So her hair
glittering shines and falls

Waves of her hair
shimmer and fall
away and fall

fall swaying

and shine

and fall

of the sea
fall sheer

So her hair
glittering shines
and falls

Terence Watson 1968

Terry Watson's War Poems are brave, heartfelt and observant and some are included in this anthology - here's an example.

Infantryman (1939 - 1945)

Now the time has come for the heavy artillery
Loud-voiced, and to swing high over my head,
Fierce herald of the attack, ribbing the sky.
The planes above are creeping over the earth's ceiling.
Light feels towards the grey, unknown antagonist.
Now the mountainous iron tanks, inhuman, unfeeling
Throb with the surge of their powerful, harsh-tongued engines.
Grind forward,splintering stones with steel feet.
Now is the time to slide back the silver bolt
And press the austere round up the rifle's spout,
To run a sensitive finger along the cool bayonet,
To ease the web straps straining the shoulder blades,
To crush the last cigarette under the boot heel.
For we are near the end of our journey
And the setting down of burdens.
Like children from school we shall burst
Into this playground, and the choice
Of two freedoms shall be decided for us.

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