James Elroy Flecker

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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

He was born in London, and 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 22nd Special Air Service regiment in Hereford.

He died of tuberculosis in Davos, Switzerland.

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.


  • The Bridge of Fire (1907) poems
  • The Last Generation: A Story of the Future (1908) novel
  • The Grecians (1910)
  • Thirty-Six Poems (1910)
  • Forty-Two Poems (1911) eBook
  • The Scholars' Italian Book. (1911)
  • The Golden Journey to Samarkand (1913) poems
  • The King of Alsander (1914) novel
  • The Old Ships (1915) poems
  • Collected Poems (1916)
  • Collected Prose (1920)
  • Hassan (1922) verse drama
  • Don Juan (1925) verse drama
  • The Letters of J.E. Flecker to Frank Savery (1926)
  • Some Letters from Abroad of James Elroy Flecker (1930)
  1. ^ Walker, Heather. Roses and Rain (2006). Melrose Books. ISBN 1-905226-06-3
  • 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
  • Comment and images relating to Flecker's The Golden Journey ('Road') to Samarkand
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