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James Elroy Flecker (5 November 1884 - 3 January 1915) was an English poet, novelist and playwright. As a poet he was most influenced by the Parnassian poets.

Contents

Biography

He was born in London, and baptised Herman Elroy Flecker, later choosing to use the first name "James", either because he disliked the name "Herman" or to avoid confusion with his father. "Roy", as he was known to his family, was educated at Dean Close School, Cheltenham, where his father was headmaster, and Uppingham School. He studied at Trinity College, Oxford, and Caius College, Cambridge. While at Oxford he was greatly influenced by the last flowering of the Aesthetic movement there, under John Addington Symonds. From 1910 he was in the consular service, in the Eastern Mediterranean. He met Helle Skiadaressi on a ship to Athens,[1] and married her in 1911. His most widely known poem is "To a poet a thousand years hence". The most enduring testimony to his work is perhaps an excerpt from "The Golden Journey to Samarkand" inscribed on the clock tower of the barracks of the British Army's 22 Special Air Service regiment in Hereford: "We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go Always a little further; it may be Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow Across that angry or that glimmering sea".

He died of tuberculosis in Davos, Switzerland. His death at the age of thirty was described at the time as "unquestionably the greatest premature loss that English literature has suffered since the death of Keats".[2]

His poem "The Bridge of Fire" is featured in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, in the volume The Wake. A quatrain from his poem "To a Poet a Thousand Years Hence" is quoted by Jorge Luis Borges in his essay Note on Walt Whitman (to be found in the collection Other Inquisitions, 1937-1952):

O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
student of our sweet English tongue,
read out my words at night, alone:
I was a poet, I was young.

Works

Poetry

  • The Bridge of Fire (1907)
  • Thirty-Six Poems (1910)
  • Forty-Two Poems (1911) (eBook)
  • The Golden Journey to Samarkand (1913)
  • The Old Ships (1915)
  • Collected Poems (1916)

Novels

  • The Last Generation: A Story of the Future (1908)
  • The King of Alsander (1914)

Drama

  • Hassan (1922; full title Hassan: The Story of Hassan of Baghdad and How he Came to Make the Golden Journey to Samarkand)
  • Incidental music to the play was written by Frederick Delius in 1920, before the play's publication, and first performed in September 1923.[3]
  • Don Juan (1925)

Other

  • The Grecians (1910)
  • The Scholars' Italian Book (1911)
  • Collected Prose (1920)
  • The Letters of J.E. Flecker to Frank Savery (1926)
  • Some Letters from Abroad of James Elroy Flecker (1930)

References

  1. ^ Walker, Heather. Roses and Rain (2006). Melrose Books. ISBN 1-905226-06-3
  2. ^ James Elroy Flecker, About.com
  3. ^ Delius-hassan-review-1923 at thompsonian.info

Bibliography

  • James Elroy Flecker (1922) by Douglas Goldring
  • An Essay on Flecker (1937) by T. E. Lawrence
  • No Golden Journey: A Biography of James Elroy Flecker (1973) by John Sherwood
  • James Elroy Flecker (1976) by John M. Munro

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

When the great markets by the sea shut fast
All that calm Sunday that goes on and on:
When even lovers find their peace at last,
And Earth is but a star, that once had shone.

James Elroy Flecker (November 5, 1884January 3, 1915) was an English poet, novelist and playwright. As a poet he was most influenced by the Parnassian poets.

Sourced

  • When the great markets by the sea shut fast
    All that calm Sunday that goes on and on:
    When even lovers find their peace at last,
    And Earth is but a star, that once had shone.
    • The Golden Journey to Samarkand (l. 7)
  • And some to Meccah turn to pray, and I toward thy bed, Yasmin.
    • Hassan, in Hassan, act 1, sc. 2 (1922)
  • I have seen old ships sail like swans asleep.
    • The Old Ships (l. 1)
  • But have you wine and music still,
    And statues and a bright-eyed love,
    And foolish thoughts of good and ill,
    And prayers to them who sit above?
    • To a Poet a Thousand Years Hence (l. 9-12)

External links

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