Francis Scarfe

(1911-1986 / South Shields, England)

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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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Best Poem of Francis Scarfe

Tyne Dock

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,
While ...

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