David Gascoyne

(10 October 1916 - 25 November 2001 / London / England)

David Gascoyne
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David Gascoyne was born in 1916 in Harrow, Middlesex, and educated at Salisbury Cathedral School and the Regent Street Polytechnic, London. His first collection of poetry, 'Roman Balcony and Other Poems' was published when he was sixteen, and in 1933 Cobden-Sanderson brought out his novel 'Opening Day'. Both books are remarkable achievements for an adolescent, and they were followed by the equally striking poetry collections 'Man's Life Is This Meat' (1936) and 'Hoelderlin's Madness' (1938), which established his reputation as one of the most original voices of the 1930s.

Gascoyne was among the earliest champions of Surrealism: in 1935 his A Short Survey of Surrealism was ... more »

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Best Poem of David Gascoyne

And The Seventh Dream Is The Dream Of Isis

1

white curtains of infinite fatigue
dominating the starborn heritage of the colonies of St Francis
white curtains of tortured destinies
inheriting the calamities of the plagues
of the desert encourage the waistlines of women to expand
and the eyes of men to enlarge like pocket-cameras
teach children to sin at the age of five
to cut out the eyes of their sisters with nail-scissors
to run into the streets and offer themselves to unfrocked priests
teach insects to invade the deathbeds of rich spinsters
and to engrave the foreheads of their footmen with purple...

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