Writer Mary Dawson belonged to a generation scarred by the first and second World Wars. She was brought up in Oxford, daughter of a German mother and an elderly English father, the writer and scholar William Harbutt Dawson. She lost her older brother during the second World War, and was herself stricken by polio during her nursing training. Despite these and later tragedies, she never lost her faith and her resolute belief in the fundamental goodness of people. Her husband Dr John Jeffries, a young psychiatrist, died in 1963, leaving her with four children aged 7-17. From then on, her writing career developed in earnest, helping to sustain not only her young family but her spirit. The family home lay beneath the Malvern Hills, from which she derived inspiration and consolation. Here, surrounded by three great cathedrals and their choirs, in the countryside of Edward Elgar and A.E.Housman, John Masefield and John Moore, she felt nourished and continued to write poems and stories for books, magazines, radio and television. She loved to read aloud to her many grandchildren, and could be a welcome port in a storm. As a visiting writer, Mary Dawson fired the imagination of schoolchildren with her readings and workshops. Mary had many friends and in times of trouble she was a source of gentle comfort and wisdom.
Most of the following poems are from ‘Severnside’, published privately in 1999.
Mary Dawson Jeffries, Mary Dawson, Mary Jeffries 1919-2003 uk, writer and poet.