Francis Scarfe was an English poet, critic and novelist, who became an academic, translator and Director of the British Institute in Paris.
He was born in South Shields; he was brought up from a young age at the Royal Merchant Seaman's Orphanage. He was educated at Durham University and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He then studied at the Sorbonne.
While in Paris he wrote ... more »
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Francis Scarfe Poems
The summer season at Tyne Dock Hoisted my boyhood in a crane Above the shaggy mining town, Above the slaghills and the rocks,
Far away is one who now is sleeping In the same world and the same darkness, But not in my keeping. Oh no, my arms could never stretch so far
An Elegy for Tristan Tzara In the hungry kitchen The dog sings for its dinner.
Ode in Honour
Evening is part of the jig-saw truth of her, ply-wood ply-flesh, her insolent reply blinding the ace with a straight shot to centre, the woman's a delicate devil in twenty places
Those who love cats which do not even purr Or which are thin and tired and very old, Bend down to them in the street and stroke their fur
The Merry Window
The alabaster legs of the lonely woman hang from the window like white ensigns out of the laughing window like false teeth sheets, flagstaffs, telescopes, rolls of music,
The sea still plunges where as naked boys We dared the currents and the racing tides That stamped red weals of fury on our thighs,
See that satan pollarding a tree, That geometric man straightening a road: Surely such passions are perverse and odd
In after years, when you look back upon This time, and upon me, who am no more Close to your heart nor a shadow in your sun,
Comments about Francis Scarfe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
The summer season at Tyne Dock
Hoisted my boyhood in a crane
Above the shaggy mining town,
Above the slaghills and the rocks,
Above the middens in backlanes
And wooden hen-huts falling down.
Vermilion grass grew in the street
Where the blind pit-ponies pranced
And poppies screamed by butchers' stalls
Where bulls kicked sparks with dying feet,
And in the naked larks I sensed
A cruel god beneath it all.
Over the pit-head wheel the moon
Was clean as a girl's face in school;
I envied the remote old man
Who lived there, happy and alone,