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Ron Nevett (1955 -

Nevett's poetry first came to the attention of the public when it started to appear in the Poet's Corner section of the Norwich Evening News in 2019. Nevett's well structured couplets and imaginative rhymes instantly set him apart from some of the more amateurish poets who appeared in Poet's Corner and his work soon came to the attention of Jeremy Noel-Tod - a lecturer and poetry critic who worked at the University of East Anglia. Noel-Tod was so impressed by Nevett's Norwich poems that he agreed to edit the poet's work and helped him to produce a slim volume.

Market Lunch by Ron Nevett

The slim volume duly appeared in 2020 and was entitled Market Lunch: Poems of Norwich. Nevett found inspiration from many recognisable Norwich locations including: Mousehold Heath, Eaton Park, the Cathedral spire, Norwich Market and the Lazar House on Sprowston Road. His work, although rooted in the local, was marked by a sophistication and sense of humour. Here is the first verse of his Eaton Park poem:

Sweet Eaton Park, I love to see
You laid out like geometry:
Your skate park's scooped and sloping bowl,
The netted cuboid of a goal,
The prisms of your playground swings
As, crowning these Euclidean things,
Your bandstand's hemisphere of jade
Surmounts its circled colonade

Nevett, a very private man, has tended to shun fame - despite considerable interest from the local media. However, in 2021 during the Coronavirus lockdown - he uncharacteristically entered into a poetry competition with another local Norfolk poet - Henry Skipper from Little Waddingham. The two poets agreed to write a poem about the Thorpe Rail Disaster - which occurred in 1874 and resulted in the loss of 25 lives.  In response to Skipper's dialect driven poem, Nevett replied with an elegant sonnet which beautifully captured the tragic events of the September night in 1874. The two poems were judged on Twitter. Here is the poem:

The Thorpe Rail Disaster

10th September 1874

One night of mighty rain not far from Norwich
At Thorpe they thought they heard the thunder rumble
But that was just the down train at the Yare bridge
Colliding with the Yarmouth mail from Brundall.

The night inspector, Mr Cooper, knew
His telegram had sent it up in error
And as he stared at nothing knowledge grew,
Like steam greying the darkness, into horror

A shudder in the rails relayed the news:
The screaming engines reared in iron marriage
As breaking wood and glass became confused
With persons from the first-to third-class carriage

Poor Mr Cooper was convicted of the crime
Which will be remembered for a very long time


Nevett is currently working on a series of sonnets which feature more local locations including: Caistor St Edmund (Venta Icenorum), Norwich Castle, Mount Surrey and the UEA.


Jeremy Noel-Tod (Twitter)




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