Scarfe, Francis

(1911-1986)
   Born in South Shields, Tyneside, he was orphaned at the age of six and spent four years at an orphanage for the children of merchant seamen. He was educated at the Boys' High School in South Shields, Durham University, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and at the Sorbonne, Paris. He taught at Glasgow University before he enlisted in the Army Education Corps in 1941. While on a posting to the Orkneys, he lodged with the family of young George Mackay Brown (see entry), on whom he was a major influence. After the war, Scarfe taught French poetry at Glasgow University and from 1959 to 1978 was director of the British Institute. In recognition of his contribution to Anglo-French cultural relations he was given three major French literary awards, including the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (1978). Some of his poetry publications: Inscapes, 1940. Forty Poems and Ballads, 1941. Underworlds, 1950. Complete Verse of Charles P. Baudelaire, 1986 (translation). Some of his poems: "Cat's Eyes," "Cats," "Grenade," "Kitchen Poem," "Ode in Honour," "The Clock," "Tyne Dock."
   Sources: Biography of Francis Scarfe (http://online.northumbria.ac.uk/faculties/art/humanities/cns/m-scarfe. html). English and American Surrealist Poetry. Edward B. Germain, ed. Penguin Books, 1978. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Faber Book of War Poetry. Kenneth Baker, ed. Faber and Faber, 1996. The New British Poets: An Anthology. Kenneth Rexroth, ed. New Directions, 1949. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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