Thompson, Francis

Read selected poems from Francis Thompson

Francis Thompson Poet Allspirit

Francis Thompson

Francis Thompson was born on 16th December 1859 in Preston,  Lancashire, and was an English poet and ascetic. Thompson trained as a doctor but never practiced. After moving to London he became addicted to opium and became a street vagrant.

From Wikipedia:

A married couple read his poetry and rescued him, publishing his first book Poems in 1893. Thompson lived as an unbalanced invalid in Wales and at Storrington, but wrote three books of poetry, with other works and essays, before dying of tuberculosis in 1907.


G. K. Chesterton said shortly after his death that “with Francis Thompson we lost the greatest poetic energy since Browning. “His grave is in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in London. Among Thompson’s devotees was the young J.R.R. Tolkien, who purchased a volume of Thompson’s works in 1913-1914, and later said that it was an important influence on his own writing. The American novelist Madeleine L’Engle used a line from the poem “The Mistress of Vision” as the title of her last Vicki Austin novel, Troubling a Star. In 2011, Thompson’s life was the subject of the stage play and film script ‘HOUND’ (Visions in the Life of the Poet Francis Thompson)by writer/director Chris Ward, which has been performed in various venues around London.

Francis Thompson died of tuberculosis in 1907.

Read selected poems from Francis Thompson