F. T. Prince (Frank Templeton Prince) Biography
(1912–2003), (Frank Templeton Prince), Poems, Soldiers Bathing, The Doors of Stone: Poems 1938–1962
British poet and scholar, born in Kimberley, South Africa, educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and at Princeton. He began his academic career in 1946 at the University of Southampton, where he was Professor of English from 1957 to 1974. Poems (1938), his first collection of verse, was followed by Soldiers Bathing (1954), the title piece of which is one of the most widely anthologized poems of the Second World War; its emotional candour and fluent interweaving of contemplative and observational elements are representative of Prince's manner in much of his work. His subsequent volumes include The Doors of Stone: Poems 1938–1962 (1963), Drypoints of the Hasidim (1975), and Later On (1983). In addition to many fine shorter poems, his achievements include several dramatic monologues which sustain an eloquence appropriate to the grandeur of their imagined speakers; among them are ‘Michelangelo in Old Age’, ‘Words from Edmund Burke’, and ‘An Epistle to a Patron’, the last in the voice of Leonardo da Vinci. Prince excluded many poems he considered inadequate in quality from his Collected Poems (1979). Walks in Rome (1987) exemplifies the urbanely lyrical mode of his later work in its extended meditation on his ambiguous attitude to religious faith. Among his critical writings are The Italian Element in Milton's Verse (1954) and William Shakespeare: The Poems (1963). His numerous works as an editor include texts of Milton's Samson Agonistes (1957) and the New Arden edition of Shakespeare's poems (1960).