Edward Lowbury and His Voyage of Poetry in a Medical Boat


Edward Joseph Lister Lowbury (December 12, 1913 - July 10, 2007) was a pioneering and innovative English medical bacteriologist and pathologist, and also a published poet. He was born in London on 6 December 1913, the son of Benjamin William Lowbury, a general practitioner and a great admirer of Joseph Lister, after whom Lowbury was named. His mother, Alice Sarah HallĂ©, was a member of the family of the founder of the celebrated orchestra. He was educated at St Paul’s School, London, from which a leaving exhibition took him to University College, Oxford.

Edward Lowbury had a parallel career as a poet. He fell in love with poetry when he was 10 and won the Newdigate prize for poetry as an undergraduate at Oxford. He published many volumes of poetry, and edited Apollo, the anthology of doctor-poets published for the BMA's 150th anniversary. He always carried a notebook in which he wrote medical ideas at one end and ideas for poems at the other, which met in the middle to, he said, mutual enlightenment. At other times, records Roland John, he took a mischievous pleasure in keeping medicine and poetry separate: “Wearing a plain trilby to the lab and a pork-pie hat with a wavy brim when I went out with my artist and poet friends.”

His work, while remaining formal, avoided the mawkishness of the former and the attitudinising of the latter. Standing apart from literary fashions, he has a place among those of any age who continue to be read for having given lyrical expression to a striking or moving thought in plain and concise language.

The originality of the best of his poetry is on a par with that of his scientific work; it was achieved by rejecting the conventional and appealing to reason. But his scepticism was leavened with humour and appreciation of paradox, in which he found the stuff of poetry. One aspect of this, as the critic Glyn Pursglove has pointed out, was his play on words and subtle use of allusion. He also had (in life as in art) a narrative gift which particularly relished the off-beat and macabre. On the other hand, having a weakness for writing occasional verse on request, or prolonging a single theme into a sequence, in the poetry of his retirement he allowed the publication of work that is forced and pedestrian.

"The Huntsman" has been composed by the modern English poet Edward Lowbury. He worked as a medical bacterialogist in Africa. He writes this poem based on an African folklore which explains the uncertainty of human life. The poem is an evidence of imaginative richness and psychological insight of the poet. It is also full of suspense mystery and supernatural. The poet tells us the mysterious story of a famous hunter Kagwa, who was fond of talking.

 

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