Sunday, 31 July 2016


It was an already established fact that Poul Anderson (novelist), SM Stirling (novelist) and Neil Gaiman (graphic novelist) all quote from James Elroy Flecker (poet). Flecker's "The Bridge of Fire" has six stanzas numbered I-VI. In The Sandman: The Wake, Gaiman, very appropriately, quotes stanza VI, beginning:

"Between the pedestals of Night and Morning..."

In Island In The Sea Of Time, Stirling quotes stanza I, beginning:

"High on the bridge of Heaven..."

- and then also quotes stanza VI.

Consulting my The Collected Poems of James Elroy Flecker (see image), I see that stanza V lists several gods, including our old friend, Mithras. Also of possible interest here is an sf poem, "To a Poet a Thousand Years Hence," (here) ending:

"O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
"Student of our sweet English tongue,
"Read out my words at night, alone:
"I was a poet, I was young.

"Since I can never see your face,
"And never shake you by the hand,
"I send my soul through time and space
"To greet you. You will understand."


David Birr said...

Your closing paragraphs reminded me of Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Palace." The narrator, building a palace of his own design, comes across the ruins of another such.
"I read in the razed foundations the heart of that builder's heart.
As [if] he had risen and pleaded, so did I understand
The form of the dream he had followed in the face of the thing he had planned."

Then he's told he isn't permitted to complete his palace. He abandons his work, carving on the timbers and stones he'd been using words the previous builder had also left:
"*'After me cometh a Builder. Tell him, I too have known!'*"

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David!

I'll be looking up the Kipling poem you quoted. The bit you quoted interests me!