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John Gould Fletcher Biography

(1886–1950), Irradiations: Sand and Spray, Goblins and Pagodas, Japanese Prints, Branches of Adam

American poet, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, educated at Harvard. In 1908 he moved to London and privately published five volumes of his poetry. Following the development of his firm friendship with Amy Lowell, he emerged as a leading exponent of Imagism. Irradiations: Sand and Spray (1915) and Goblins and Pagodas (1916) contained musically experimental verse rich in imagery of vivid precision. Japanese Prints (1918), which contained further examples of his Imagist verse, indicated his attraction towards Oriental painting and poetry. The increasingly philosophical concerns of his later work were accompanied by a gradual adoption of more traditional verse forms in a succession of volumes which include Branches of Adam (1926), The Black Rock (1928), XXIV Elegies (1935), and Selected Poems (1938; Pulitzer Prize). In 1933 he returned to Arkansas and became a dominant voice in the Agrarian movement. The verse collected in The Epic of Arkansas (1936), South Star (1941), and The Burning Mountain (1946) indicates his imaginative commitment to the Agrarian vision of a self-sufficient regional culture. Among his prose works are Paul Gauguin: His Life and Art (1921); The Two Frontiers (1930), a comparison of Russian and American national ideals; and Arkansas (1947), a historical study. Life Is My Song (1937) is an autobiography.

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