Frederick William (FW) Harvey

(26 March 1888 – 13 February 1957 / Hartpury, Gloucestershire)

Frederick William (FW) Harvey
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Frederick William Harvey was an English poet, known for poems composed in prisoner-of-war camps at Krefeld and Gütersloh that were sent back to England, during World War I.

He was born in Hartpury, Gloucestershire. He was educated at the King's School, Gloucester, where he formed a close friendship with Ivor Gurney, and then at Rossall School. Gurney and Herbert Howells, another local composer, would set a number of his poems to music.

He started on a legal career, which would always be somewhat tentative. He became a Roman Catholic convert in 1914, and shortly after joined the Gloucestershire Regiment as a private soldier, as World War I broke out.

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Best Poem of Frederick William (FW) Harvey

Ducks

(To E.M., Who drew them in Holzminden Prison)

I

From troubles of the world I turn to ducks,
Beautiful comical things
Sleeping or curled
Their heads beneath white wings
By water cool,
Or finding curious things
To eat in various mucks
Beneath the pool,
Tails uppermost, or waddling
Sailor-like on the shores
Of ponds, or paddling
- Left! Right! - with fanlike feet
Which are for steady oars
When they (white galleys) float
Each bird a boat
Rippling at will the sweet
Wide waterway ...
When night is fallen you ...

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