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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 17:03 GMT
Poet John Heath-Stubbs dies at 88
Renowned poet John Heath-Stubbs has died at a nursing home in west London at the age of 88.

Mr Heath-Stubbs, who lost his sight completely in 1978, was also a translator, critic and anthologist.

He was known for writing verse influenced by the classics and was awarded an OBE in 1988.

Friends said he had been diagnosed with lung cancer four months ago and died at a nursing home in West London.

Born in London and educated at Queen's College, Oxford, he was an important figure in the British poetry scene of the 1950s.

He won several prizes for his poetry, which included the 1972 Arthurian play Artorius.

His friend Guthrie McKie, a Westminster councillor, said he would remember Mr Heath-Stubbs as a "very generous man, a quiet but committed Christian and someone who was very critical of a lot of modern fashions".

He added: "He strongly objected to actors reading poetry and believed that only poets should read poetry.

"He made a lot of enemies but that's the nature of the literary world."

Roman writer

In 2000, John Heath-Stubbs completed an English-language version of the only literary work by a woman to survive from ancient Rome.

Sulpicia's contemporaries were Ovid and Horace, but while their work was feted in the centuries since they created it, Sulpicia was largely marginalised.

The poet had a relationship with a man not her husband, but her uncle halted that liaison. One of the poems addressed to her illicit lover reads: "Have you any feelings now for your poor girl while a fever wracks her and torments her body?"

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