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F. S. Flint

1885–1960

F. S. Flint was born in London, England, on December 19, 1885. He grew up in poverty and finished his formal education at age thirteen. In 1904, he began a career in civil service as a typist, and in 1908, he began writing reviews and articles for the literary journal New Age.

Flint was the author of three poetry collections: Otherword, Cadences (Poetry Bookshop, 1920), Cadences (Poetry Bookshop, 1915), and In the Net of Stars (E. Matthews, 1909).

A leading member of the Imagist movement, he was closely associated with H. D., T. E. Hulme, and Ezra Pound. In 1913, he published a note on “Imagisme” in Poetry, writing, “The imagistes admitted that they were contemporaries of the Post Impressionists and the Futurists; but they had nothing in common with these schools. They had not published a manifesto. They were not a revolutionary school; their only endeavor was to write in accordance with the best tradition….”

Flint was also a translator of French poetry, including The Love Poems of Emile Verhaeren (Houghton Mifflin, 1917), and was known for his literary criticism, which he published in Criterion, The Egoist, and other literary magazines.

He worked at the Ministry of Labour from 1919 to 1951. He died in Berkshire, England, on February 28, 1960.


Selected Bibliography

Otherworld, Cadences (Poetry Bookshop, 1920)
Cadences (Poetry Bookshop, 1915)
In the Net of the Stars (E. Matthews, 1909)

By This Poet

5

[London, my beautiful]

London, my beautiful,
it is not the sunset
nor the pale green sky
shimmering through the curtain
of the silver birch,
nor the quietness;
it is not the hopping
of birds
upon the lawn,
nor the darkness
stealing over all things
that moves me.

But as the moon creeps slowly
over the tree-tops
among the stars,
I think of her
and the glow her passing
sheds on the men.

London, my beautiful,
I will climb
into the branches
to the moonlit tree-tops,
that my blood may be cooled
by the wind.

Hallucination

I know this room,
and there are corridors:
the pictures, I have seen before;
the statues and those gems in cases
I have wandered by before,—
stood there silent and lonely
in a dream of years ago.

I know the dark of night is all around me;
my eyes are closed, and I am half asleep.
My wife breathes gently at my side.

But once again this old dream is within me,
and I am on the threshold waiting,
wondering, pleased, and fearful.
Where do those doors lead,
what rooms lie beyond them?
I venture…

But my baby moves and tosses
from side to side,
and her need calls me to her.

Now I stand awake, unseeing,
in the dark,
and I move towards her cot…
I shall not reach her… There is no direction…
I shall walk on…

[Immortal?... No,]

Immortal?... No,
they cannot be, these people,
nor I.

Tired faces,
eyes that have never seen the world,
bodies that have never lived in air,
lips that have never minted speech,
they are the clipped and garbled,
blocking the highway.
They swarm and eddy
between the banks of glowing shops
towards the red meat,
the potherbs,
the cheapjacks,
or surge in
before the swift rush
of the clanging trams,—
pitiful, ugly, mean,
encumbering.

Immortal?...
In a wood,
watching the shadow of a bird
leap from frond to frond of bracken,
I am immortal.

But these?

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