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Topic: Paul Potts

Lost and Found Poet #12: Paul Potts

Paul Potts: Canuck-Soho Bard whose Circle Included Elizabeth Smart and George Orwell
Rediscovered by Ronald Caplan, editor of a forthcoming collection of Potts’ poetry, _George Orwell’s Friend: Selected Writing by Paul Potts_.
A few years ago, Ronald Caplan was drawn to the writer, Paul Potts, knowing nothing beyond an extraordinary photograph and the four lines of poetry that accompanied it in Christopher Barker’s _Portraits of Poets_: “My dreams / Watching me said / One to the other / This life has let us down.” That, and the line in Sebastian Barker’s introduction mentioning “those, of whom Paul Potts is perhaps the best example, who have known the full weight of neglect.” Potts was born in British Columbia but spent much of his life in England, living among characters in London’s Soho and Fitzrovia, moving among the elite literati and selling his poems on “penny each” broadsides, an act he considered a “sacrament.” He was a man of rare attentions, brave and tender, who wrote unfashionably in his time: a kind of straightforward poetry and prose about love, human kindness, decency, hope for the species, and peace.