Elizabeth Jennings (20 July 1926 – 25 October 2001) was an English poet who in her own words: "wrote very fast and revised very little" and this seems to be a philosophy that she applied directly to all her poems. Elizabeth was born in Lincolnshire but many of her contemporaries were kind enough to overlook this, and in truth she never let it effect her throughout her life or career, though friends did hint at a deep-seated social stigma that she rarely showed the world.
Her first work was imaginatively named ‘Poems’ and her last, ‘Collected Poems’. Jennings was a member of the ‘movement’, a term used to describe an esoteric cult, which pledged to hang around in dank coffee houses writing depressing poetry. Despite knowing Kingsley Amis she managed to avoid picking up any venereal diseases popular amongst her fellow poets.
She is known for her simplistic style of writing which is apparent in all of her works, such as in the titles ‘In a Garden’ and ‘Friday’. The former poem traces her decline in mental health, and would be a major influence on the work of later poets including a number of the leading lights such as Pam Ayres.
In the Garden
- in a garden ging gang gong
- the cows go Bong!
- and the monkeys all say BOO!
- There's a gong gang ging
- Where the trees go Ping!
- And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
As someone who considered themselves to be a poet, regardless of the public opinion on the subject, Jennings was wont to extravagant gestures and flights of fancy, as well as behaviour of a questionable behaviour. In 2009 she was posthumously accused of Gross Moral Turpitude.
Jennings was known to have suffered a severe spell of mental illness. She received a pre-frontal lobotomy, which caused her to lose sensation in her hind legs, as well as the ability to wiggle her eyebrows. Jennings died in a care home in Bampton, having been shived by fellow inmate, Mrs Graham. For all of those few who wish to mourn, she is buried in Oxford, along with any hope of ever creating any useful poetry.
Elizabeth Jennings was an avid supporter of the ice-cream retailer ‘Haagen Daaz’. She often used it as a therapeutic medicine to guide her through her writing. Jennings has allegedly produced her best work under the influence of visions enduced by her favourite flavour, New York Super Fudge Chunk.