Collected Poems - Vol. 1

Collected Poems - Vol. 1

Collected Poems - Vol. 1

Collected Poems - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The volume of Rhyming Poems is collected from four little books, Love Poems and Others, Amores, New Poems, and Bay." Of these Love Poems and Others was the first, and was published in 1913.

I have now tried to arrange the poems, as far as possible, in chronological order, the order in which they were written. The first poems I ever wrote, if poems they were, was when I was nineteen: now twenty-three years ago. I remember perfectly the Sunday afternoon when I perpetrated those first two pieces: To Guelder-Roses and To Campione; in springtime, of course, and, as I say, in my twentieth year. Any young lady might have written them and been pleased with them; as I was pleased with them. But it was after that, when I was twenty, that my real demon would now and then get hold of me and shake more real poems out of me, making me uneasy. I never "liked" my real poems as I liked To Guelder-Roses."

I have tried to establish a chronological order, because many of the poems are so personal that, in their fragmentary fashion, they make up a biography of an emotional and inner life. Many of the poems, again, are what one might call fictional, poems like Love on the Farm, Wedding Morn, Two Wives, and the dialect poems. They have no necessary chronological sequence. But the poems to Miriam, and to my Mother, and to Helen, and to the other woman, the woman of Kisses in the Train "and" Hands of the Betrothed, they need the order of time, as that is the order of experience. So, perhaps, do the subjective poems like Virgin Youth."

The first change in scene comes when for the first time I left Nottinghamahire, at the age of twenty-three, to go to teach in a new school on the fringes of South London. From the playground we could look north . . .

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