Anthony Richardson’s third and final book of poetry was called “Full Cycle: Verses of the Royal Air Force” and was published in 1946:
Personally, I don’t like it anywhere near as much as his previous two books. He seems to have turned away from what I will call the “Forceful simplicity” of his first two books into something far more poetic and far more difficult to understand, almost as if he wants to show people that he has invented a special poet’s language all of his own. This is a very common fault among poets and it must lose them lots of ordinary readers. I have only picked one poem from this short book.
It is called “Request September 1939” and the poem lists the requests to Death, or God, made by a member of the armed forces, about to go to war and likely to die in the struggle ahead:
When the Judgment Day trumpet sounds, he would not want to be sent automatically to the battlements of Heaven to fight the armies of Satan, but would prefer to linger closer to Earth where everybody has always been so nice to him.
I do not know, incidentally what “earthy bred” is, and neither does Google. I suspect that “bred” is one of those words which, over the centuries, has suffered a reversal of a Consonant-Vowel combination inside it. “Brunley and brid” swapped their Vowel-Consonant combination round to become, “Burnley and bird” respectively. “Bred” would then produce “berth”, which is nowadays a specialised name for a place where you sleep. “Earthy bred” then becomes your grave.
Here are the six things he would like to hear:
But most of all, he used to be a fisherman:
Anthony Richardson seems to have given up poetry at this point. He moved to writing novels of various kinds, mostly about crime.
He must have made quite a bit of money from two very successful non-fiction books.
They were “Nick of Notting Hill: The bearded policeman. The story of Police Constable J. Nixon of the Metropolitan Police”:
Probably the most successful was “Wingless Victory” with Sir Basil Embry (1950), the story of Sir Basil’s escape from Nazi occupied France after his Lancaster was shot down. Even now, it’s a good read:
I have a hankering to return to the subject of poetry in RAF Bomber Command during World War Two. John Pudney is an obvious candidate, along with Henry Treece and the relatively little known George Eades.