John Davidson

(11 April 1857 – 23 March 1909 / Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, Scotland)

John Davidson
Do you like this poet?
23 person liked.
16 person did not like.

John Davidson was a Scottish poet, playwright and novelist, best known for his ballads. He also did translations from French and German. In 1909, financial difficulties, as well as physical and mental health problems, led to his suicide.

Life and Works

Scotland

He was born at Barrhead, East Renfrewshire as the son of Alexander Davidson, an Evangelical Union minister and Helen née Crockett of Elgin. His family removed to Greenock in 1862 where he was educated at Highlanders' Academy there and entered the chemical laboratory of Walker's Sugarhouse refinery in his 13th year, returning after one year to school as a pupil teacher. In Public Analysts'... more »

Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.

Quotations

more quotations »
  • ''Seraphs and saints with one great voice
    Welcomed that soul that knew not fear.
    Amazed to find it could rejoice,
    Hell raised a hoarse, half-human cheer.''
    John Davidson (1857-1909), Scottish poet. A Ballad of Hell (l. 93-96). MoBrPo. Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) H...
  • ''How long she stayed I cannot tell;
    But when she felt this perfidy,
    She marched across the floor of hell;
    And all the damned stood up to see.''
    John Davidson (1857-1909), Scottish poet. A Ballad of Hell (l. 77-80). MoBrPo. Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) H...
  • ''A stag of warrant, a stag, a stag,
    A runnable stag, a kingly crop,
    Brow, bay and tray and three on top,
    A stag, a runnable stag.''
    John Davidson (1857-1909), Scottish poet. A Runnable Stag (l. 6-9). OxBTC. Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse, The. Philip Larkin, ed....
  • ''Night sank: like flakes of silver fire
    The stars in one great shower came down;''
    John Davidson (1857-1909), Scottish poet. In Romney Marsh (l. 21-22). OxBTC. Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse, The. Philip Larkin, e...
  • ''Masts in the offing wagged their tops;
    The swinging waves pealed on the shore;
    The saffron beach, all diamond drops
    And beads of surge, prolonged the roar.''
    John Davidson (1857-1909), Scottish poet. In Romney Marsh (l. 13-16). OxBTC. Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse, The. Philip Larkin, e...
Read more quotations »

Comments about John Davidson

more comments »
Click here to write your comments about John Davidson
  • Peter Mclaren (9/14/2012 4:05:00 PM)

    There is a very good short essay on Davidson in Derek Stanford's 'Poets Of The Nineties' anthology. Most of his contemporaries - Dowson, Wilde, Symonds, Plarr - sought to make musical poems; Davidson is all awkward intellectualism expressed in a take-it -or-leave-it language all his own. He is the most convincingly sincere of his contemporaries: reading him now one catches a vivid impresion of an odd (and remarkable) man who died over 100 years ago. And of what he saw in London, rather than what kind of poem he could make of London

Read all 1 comments »
[Hata Bildir]