Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Eva H. Longbottom (1892 - 1957) - British poet and Musician

I am extremely grateful to Dawn Dyer of Bristol Reference Library who has found several poets in the Library’s archives who are not on my list so far.

The first one on Dawn’s list is Eva H. Longbottom, who we think was probably born in Yorkshire in around 1893 and who later moved to the Bristol area.  Eva apparently also spent some time in Liverpool.

Eva was blind from birth.  She was a very accomplished musician and have taught music and she also wrote poetry.

A small piece written in “The Western Daily Press” newspaper of 17th July 1915, quotes some verses from Eva’s poem entitled “When will my Spring come?”

Dawn kindly photocopied some of the pages of Eva’s memoires, which were published by Rankin Bros. Ltd of Bristol in 1933 under the title “Silver Bells of Memory” by Eva H. Longbottom.

Eva said: “In my humble opinion, the best war poem I wrote is entitled ,”When will my Spring come?”  The title was suggested by an article from the pen of Mr James Douglas, in which he said that when he listened to a certain thrush, it seemed all the time to be singing the words, “When will my Spring come?”  It is only the title I owe to Mr Douglas, however.  The thoughts in the poem itself are mine, and mine alone.” (p. 201).

Extract from the poem:

“Dweller on German soil, list to my warning,
True strength of nations lies not in their might,
Honour prevaileth;  if thou in thy sadness
Canst this great lesson learn, spring shall bring gladness,
Crowning life’s morning with rosiest light.”

By Eva H. Longbottom.

I am pursuing several leads and hope to be able to bring you more about Eva shortly.

Thank you Dawn.

Photograph from the title page of "Silver Bells of Memory" - if you look closely you can see that there is some Braille writing underneath the photo of Eva.