John Gould Fletcher


John Gould Fletcher (1886–1950), American poet and critic, scion of a wealthy Southern family, dropped out of Harvard in 1907 (his father’s death having secured him temporarily independent means) and lived for many years in Europe, principally in London; a friend of Ezra Pound, he became one of the mainstays of Imagism and published much original poetry. In later years he returned to his native Arkansas and espoused Agrarian values. His Selected Poems won the Pulitzer Prize in 1939. Fletcher wrote of TSE in Life Is My Song: The Autobiography of John Gould Fletcher (1937): ‘As an editor, I found him to be practically ideal, willing for opinions to be mooted that ran contrary to his own avowed toryism, so long as those opinions were not merely emotional prejudices, but were backed up by something resembling intellectual judgment’ (308). See Fletcher, Life for Life’s Sake (1941); Selected Letters of John Gould Fletcher, ed. Leighton Rudolph, Lucas Carpenter, Ethel C. Simpson (1996) – ‘One of my difficulties with Eliot, whom I knew fairly well for nearly 15 years, was his intellectual snobbery’ – Lucas Carpenter, John Gould Fletcher and Southern Modernism (1990); and Ben F. Johnson III, Fierce Solitude: A Life of John Gould Fletcher (1994).