Brian Oxley

Brian Oxley has been teaching English at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah since 1982. His first book of verse, 25 Poems, won the Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 1972.

Poem: ‘Adams’ Prophecy’

Brian Oxley, 15 November 1984

‘Inertia of sex could not be overcome without extinguishing the race, yet an immense force, doubling every few years, was working irresistibly to overcome it.’

Was Henry Adams right that the race would be snuffed out not by nuclear Armageddon, ecological disaster, plague, comet, sun-storm etc, but – don’t laugh – the Women’s Movement?

What though it’s...

Two Poems

Brian Oxley, 5 April 1984

Edwin Muir at Leuchars Junction

I think of Edwin Muir in the darkness before dawn at Leuchars Junction commuting to the Food Office in Dundee.

Where had he lost his way, the track of vision lost in chaos as Glasgow swallowed once the track of childhood?

A precarious order collapsed like those houses in St Andrews bombed last night; Kafka, from an interpreter of divine meanings become a writer...



5 April 1984

Brian Oxley writes: It goes against the grain to defend or explain one of my own pieces of verse. I write as well and as clearly as I can. After that, judgment and interpretation belong to the reader. However, on the basis of a misunderstanding, Mr Macdonald suggests that I am anti-gay and fascist, and this requires an answer. The poem has no special reference to gays. I used AIDS as a new and frightening...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences