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Andy Croft

Randall Swingler was a poet in a very English literary tradition. He

was the last of the Georgian poets, writing lovingly about the English

countryside long after the Modernist urbanisation of poetry. He

believed that poetry was the voice of the people. And he was the

inheritor and the bearer of a radical vision of England rooted in the

English rural landscape and the common people. Standing in direct

line of descent from Langland, Winstanley, Milton, Blake, Morris

and Edward Thomas, he was a late poet of Old Dissent, combining a

love of the English countryside with Christian fellowship and an English

Puritan’s hatred of privilege and power, property and money. For

Randall Swingler, poetry had a moral and a political urgency, a

responsibility to testify against cant and hypocrisy, and to bear witness

to a utopian vision of an open-shirted, classless Commonwealth

which would one day liberate human living, loving and creativity.