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GEORGIAN POETRY



1920-1922




EDITED BY SIR EDWARD MARSH




TO ALICE MEYNELL




The Poetry Bookshop
35 Devonshire St. Theobalds Rd.
London W.C.1

MCMXXII





PREFATORY NOTE

When the fourth volume of this series was published three years ago,
many of the critics who had up till then, as Horace Walpole said of God,
been the dearest creatures in the world to me, took another turn. Not
only did they very properly disapprove my choice of poems: they went on
to write as if the Editor of 'Georgian Poetry' were a kind of public
functionary, like the President of the Royal Academy; and they
asked--again, on this assumption, very properly--who was E.M. that he
should bestow and withhold crowns and sceptres, and decide that this or
that poet was or was not to count.

This, in the words of Pirate Smee, was 'a kind of a compliment', but it
was also, to quote the same hero, 'galling'; and I have wished for an
opportunity of disowning the pretension which I found attributed to me
of setting up as a pundit, or a pontiff, or a Petronius Arbiter; for I
have neither the sure taste, nor the exhaustive reading, nor the ample
leisure which would be necessary in any such role.

The origin of these books, which is set forth in the memoir of Rupert
Brooke, was simple and humble. I found, ten years ago, that there were a
number of writers doing work which appeared to me extremely good, but
which was narrowly known; and I thought that anyone, however
unprofessional and meagrely gifted, who presented a conspectus of it in
a challenging and manageable form might be doing a good turn both to the
poets and to the reading public. So, I think I may claim, it proved to
be. The first volume seemed to supply a want. It was eagerly bought; the
continuation of the affair was at once taken so much for granted as to
be almost unavoidable; and there has been no break in the demand for the
successive books. If they have won for themselves any position, there is
no possible reason except the pleasure they have given.

Having entered upon a course of disclamation, I should like to make a
mild protest against a further charge that Georgian Poetry has merely
encouraged a small clique of mutually indistinguishable poetasters to
abound in their own and each other's sense or nonsense. It is natural
that the poets of a generation should have points in common; but to my
fond eye those who have graced these collections look as diverse as
sheep to their shepherd, or the members of a Chinese family to their
uncle; and if there is an allegation which I would 'deny with both
hands', it is this: that an insipid sameness is the chief characteristic
of an anthology which offers--to name almost at random seven only out of
forty (oh ominous academic number!)--the work of Messrs. Abercrombie,
Davies, de la Mare, Graves, Lawrence, Nichols and Squire.

The ideal 'Georgian Poetry'--a book which would err neither by omission
nor by inclusion, and would contain the best, and only the best poems of
the best, and only the best poets of the day--could only be achieved, if
at all, by dint of a Royal Commission. The present volume is nothing of
the kind.

I may add one word bearing on my aim in selection. Much admired modern
work seems to me, in its lack of inspiration and its disregard of form,
like gravy imitating lava. Its upholders may retort that much of the
work which I prefer seems to them, in its lack of inspiration and its
comparative finish, like tapioca imitating pearls. Either view--possibly
both--may be right. I will only say that with an occasional exception
for some piece of rebelliousness or even levity which may have taken my
fancy, I have tried to choose no verse but such as in Wordsworth's phrase

The high and tender Muses shall accept
With gracious smile, deliberately pleased.

There are seven new-comers--Messrs. Armstrong, Blunden, Hughes, Kerr,
Prewett and Quennell, and Miss Sackville-West. Thanks and
acknowledgments are due to Messrs. Jonathan Cape, Chatto and Windus, R.
Cobden-Sanderson, Constable, W. Collins, Heinemann, Hodder and
Stoughton, John Lane, Macmillan, Martin Secker, Selwyn and Blount,
Sidgwick and Jackson, and the Golden Cockerel Press; and to the Editors
of 'The Cbapbook', 'The London Mercury' and 'The Westminster
Gazette'.

E. M.

July, 1922





CONTENTS



LASCELLES ABERCROMBIE

Ryton Firs


MARTIN ARMSTRONG

The Buzzards (from 'The Buzzards')
Honey Harvest
Miss Thompson Goes Shopping (from 'The Buzzards')


EDMUND BLUNDEN

The Poor Man's Pig (from 'The Shepherd')
Almswomen (from 'The Waggoner')
Perch-fishing " " "
The Giant Puffball (from 'The Shepherd')
The Child's Grave " " "
April Byeway " " "


WILLIAM H. DAVIES

The Captive Lion (from 'The Song of Life')
A Bird's Anger " " "
The Villain " " "
Love's Caution " " "
Wasted Hours (from 'The Hour of Magic')
The Truth (from 'The Song of Life')


WALTER DE LA MARE

The Moth (from 'The Veil')
'Sotto Voce' " "
Sephina (from 'Flora ')
Titmouse (from 'The Veil')
Suppose (from 'Flora')
The Corner Stone (from 'The Veil')


JOHN DRINKWATER

Persuasion (from 'Seeds of Time')


JOHN FREEMAN

I Will Ask (from 'Poems New and Old')
The Evening Sky " " "
The Caves " " "
Moon-Bathers (from 'Music')
In Those Old Days (from 'Poems New and Old')
Caterpillars (from 'Music')
Change " "


WILFRID GIBSON

Fire (from 'Neighbours')
Barbara Fell " "
Philip and Phoebe Ware " "
By the Weir " "
Worlds " "


ROBERT GRAVES

Lost Love (from 'The Pier-Glass')
Morning Phoenix " "
A Lover Since Childhood
Sullen Moods
The Pier-Glass (from 'The Pier-Glass')
The Troll's Nosegay " "
Fox's Dingle " "
The General Elliott (from 'On English Poetry')
The Patchwork Bonnet (from 'The Pier-Glass')


RICHARD HUGHES

The Singing Furies (from 'Gipsy-Night')
Moonstruck " "
Vagrancy " "
Poets, Painters, Puddings "


WILLIAM KERR

In Memoriam D. O. M.
Past and Present
The Audit
The Apple Tree
Her New-Year Posy
Counting Sheep
The Trees at Night
The Dead


D. H. LAWRENCE

Snake


HAROLD MONRO

Thistledown (from 'Real Property')
Real Property " " "
Unknown Country " " "


ROBERT NICHOLS

Night Rhapsody (from 'Aurelia')
November " "


J. D. C. FELLOW

After London
On a Friend who died suddenly upon the Seashore
Tenebrę
When All is Said


FRANK PREWETT

To my Mother in Canada
Voices of Women (from 'Poems')
The Somme Valley " "
Burial Stones " "
Snow-Buntings " "
The Kelso Road " "
Baldon Lane " "
Come Girl, and Embrace "


PETER QUENNELL

Procne
A Man to a Sunflower
Perception
Pursuit


V. SACKVILLE-WEST

A Saxon Song (from 'Orchard and Vineyard')
Mariana in the North " " "
Full Moon " " "
Sailing Ships " " "
Trio " " "
Bitterness " " "
Evening " " "


EDWARD SHANKS

The Rock Pool (from 'The Island of Youth')
The Glade " " "
Memory " " "
Woman's Song
The Wind
A Lonely Place


J. C. SQUIRE

Elegy (from 'Poems,' 2nd series)
Meditation in Lamplight " "
Late Snow " "


FRANCIS BRETT YOUNG

Seascape
Scirocco
The Quails
Song at Santa Cruz



BIBLIOGRAPHY





* * * * *





LASCELLES ABERCROMBIE



RYTON FIRS


'The Dream'

All round the knoll, on days of quietest air,
Secrets are being told; and if the trees
Speak out--let them make uproar loud as drums--
'Tis secrets still, shouted instead of whisper'd.

There must have been a warning given once:
No tree, on pain of withering and sawfly,
To reach the slimmest of his snaky toes
Into this mounded sward and rumple it;
All trees stand back: taboo is on this soil.--

The trees have always scrupulously obeyed.
The grass, that elsewhere grows as best it may
Under the larches, countable long nesh blades,
Here in clear sky pads the ground thick and close
As wool upon a Southdown wether's back;
And as in Southdown wool, your hand must sink
Up to the wrist before it find the roots.
A bed for summer afternoons, this grass;
But in the Spring, not too softly entangling
For lively feet to dance on, when the green
Flashes with daffodils.



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Keywords: should, 'poems, abercrombie, london, pier-glass', poetry, volume, graves, imitating, present
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