R o l a n d  J  H a r r i s  1919-1969



`he loved humanity, nature and the sea’

 Werner Wolf, 1969


he was an inspired teacher, and the many textbooks he wrote concentrated on the development in the student of the capacity to read in both a comprehensive and a penetrating way’

Donald Meltzer


`Growth is the principle of our beauty,

striving to speak the inward sense of things’

 Roland Harris, Poems click here


Publications (as R. J. Harris)

Individual poems

Many articles in The Use of English

Your English (with Denys Thompson), a series of English textbooks for schools

The Craft of Verse published posthumously by Hutchinson in 1986 as Poetry for You, a series of 3 books designed to introduce the reading and writing of poetry to secondary school children.

Hygeia - A Birth Story click here



Roland Harris

Roland Harris was a poet and English teacher.  He was also a keen sailor.  Together with his wife Martha Harris he established one of the first Schools Counselling services (documented in Collected Papers of Martha Harris and Esther Bick) and at the same time `turned around’ an east London comprehensive school.  He spent a period working for the Schools Council and was instrumental in raising the school-leaving age to 16.  He was a sincere pacifist and during the Second World War joined the Friends Ambulance Unit.  His extensive administrative experience, in addition to his innovative educational methods, greatly facilitated Martha Harris’s construction of the Child Psychotherapy training at the Tavistock institute in the 1960’s.  For the last 2 years of his life, before his sudden and premature death, he taught psycholinguistics at Brunel University.  During that same period he had analysis with Wilfred Bion, which ended when Bion moved to California, and in the opinion of Martha Harris had a considerable influence on encouraging Bion’s plunge into fictional mode with the Memoir of the Future.  Donald Meltzer identifies the main ideas that informed Roland’s and Mattie’s teaching methods with Bion’s concept of psychoanalytic learning from experience:


The central conviction, later hallowed in Bion’s concepts of  “learning from experience”, was that the kind of learning which transformed a person into a professional worker had to be rooted in the intimate relations with inspired teachers, living and dead, present and in books.  Read more




a statement about creativity


In the conclusion

Is the dedication

Of what is worthy

To the creator.


I send back these songs

For signature;

To be corrected by

The making eye.


Were word there aught

Worthy of thy

Report, one shine as if

It were not mine;


That I make over

To her my lover,

All that is worthy

That I discover.


Not as thy maker

O divine loveliness!

But as a walker

Humbly in meadows,


Who seeing the flower

Growing so fair,

Would pluck it and place

It in her hair.


more poems click here