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Selected Poetry of James Elroy Flecker (1884-1915)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Image of James Elroy Flecker

Index to poems

Aphrodite with hair unbound
Her silver breasts adorning.
Her long, her soft, her streaming hair,
Falls on a silver breast laid bare
By the stir and swing of the sealit air
And the movement of the morning.
        (Epithalamion, 21-26)
  1. Epithalamion
  2. No Coward's Song
  3. Oak and Olive
  4. Tenebris Interlucentem


Notes on Life and Works

Born November 5, 1884, in London, James Elroy Flecker received his education at Uppingham and Trinity College, Oxford. He joined the Consular Service in 1908, was posted to Constantinople in 1910, and he married Helle Skiadaressi, a Greek. From 1911 to 1913 Flecker served as vice-consul at Beirut. Suffering from tuberculosis, he moved to Switzerland where he died January 3, 1915. Influenced both by his classical education and by his experiences in the Orient, he published five books of poetry, The Bridge of Fire (1908), Thirty-six Poems (1910), Forty-two Poems (1911), The Golden Journey to Samarkand (1913), and The Old Ships (1915). He also brought out a novel, The King of Alsander (1914), and two sucessful plays of his, Hassan (1922) and Don Juan (1925), came out posthumously.

The photograph of Flecker, taken in 1912 outside his house in Lebanon, comes from Geraldine Hodgson's The Life of James Elroy Flecker from Letters and Materials Provided by his Mother (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1925): frontispiece (PR 6011 L4Z69 Robarts Library).

Biographical information

Given name: James Elroy
Family name: Flecker
Birth date: 5 November 1884
Death date: 3 January 1915
Nationality: English
Family relations
          father: William Herman Flecker
          mother: Sarah Flecker
          wife: Helle Flecker (from May 1911)
Languages
          English
          Oriental languages
Education
          Dean Close School
          Uppingham School: January 1901 to 1902
          Trinity College, Oxford (B.A.): October 1902 to 1906
          Cambridge: 1908 to 1910
Literary movement: French Parnassian school
Literary period: Georgian
Occupations
          Teacher: 1907
          Vice-consul: 1910
Residences
          Lewisham: 5 November 1884
          London: 1907
          Beirut: 1911 to 1913
Cause of death: Consumption
Buried at: Cheltenham
First RPO edition: 1999