Peter Scupham obituary
Poet and teacher whose work embraced a wide range from sinuously tender love poems to sharp literary parodies
Peter Scupham, who has died aged 89, began publishing his poetry relatively late: a pamphlet, The Small Containers, and a first full-length collection, The Snowing Globe, both appeared in 1972, when he was almost 40.
So the apparent jauntiness of those “early” poems, with their delight in randomly assembled domestic objects and odd compound words (“flim-flam”, “hugger-mugger”), is already underpinned by hints of something deeper. And deepening, in various senses, is what happens in his next two books. Prehistories (1975) opens with poems precisely grounded in the landscape before, in Excavations, moving further down, while in the title poem he writes: “Ghosts are a poet’s working capital. / They hold their hands out from the further shore.”