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'Poems' and 'Notes', 1933-1939 (circa)

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9852/6/6

Scope and Contents

Notebook comprising poetical drafts and notes, with additional pages of loosely inserted leaves. The outer cover is illustrated with a rough sketch of a male face. The notebook begins with draft poems, some of which have watercolour illustrations. After folio 49v entries consist of notes for a poetical autobiography, beginning from the back page. Contents include:



Title pages marked 'Poems', illustrated in watercolour: /1r & 2r.

Draft poems (some illustrated): - 'On a Fly Leaf', 22 Nov. 1934: /2v. - Poem beginning 'Three cheers for scaffoldings against the sky': /3r. - Four-line verse concerning [John] Masefield and [Joseph] Conrad, beginning 'While Masefield steered by star and tiller', 27 Oct. 1934: /3r. - 'Theme & Variations', 29 Sep. 1934: /3v. - 'An Unpalatable Rumour', 13 Apr. 1935 (text is faint; partly excised): /4r. - 'Epitaph for a Dictator', 31 Aug. 1935: /4r. - Poem beginning 'In Time as in the Garden of a King', 2 Oct. 1934 (text is extremely faint and almost illegible): /4v. - 'He had the power to make the present feel/seem, poignant'): /5r. - 'Atheist's Anthem', 8 Oct. 1934: /5v. - Two drafts of 'Words for the Wordless', dated 3 Oct. 1934 and 14 Nov. 1934: /6r. - 'An Emblem', 4 Oct. 1934: /6v. - 'Soliloquy of an intellectual rabbit', 4 Oct. 1934: /7r. - Two drafts of 'A Pilgrim's Progress', one is dated 5-6 Oct. 1934: /7v-8r. - 'Political Plethora', 13 Nov. 1934: /8v. - 'Conspectus', 7 Oct. 1934: /9r. - Drafts of 'Asking for It', with early title 'Notes for a Re-arming Hymn. A Hymn to be used in time of Universal Re-armamentation', with an accompanying illustration: /9v-10r & 11r. - 'Asking for It', with an accompanying list of poems: /10v-11r. - 'Intensified Perception', 11 Oct. 1934: /11v. - Poem beginning 'Upstairs among my books', Oct. 1935: /12r. - 'Replanting Pre-War Woods', 16 Oct. 1934: /12v. - 'Pattern of Experience': /13r. - 'Alarums', 18 Oct. 1934: /13v. - 'Ex-Service', 24 Oct. 1934, fair copy, accompanied by an earlier draft entitled 'The 1934 Spirit' or 'Learn or Perish', dated 19 & 23 Oct. 1934: /14r. - 'Large Ideas', drafts dated 29 Oct. 1934 and 8 Nov. 1934: /14v. - Poem beginning 'Who needs words in Autumn woods', 25 Oct. 1934: /15r. - Poem beginning 'In multitudes we think & what a plan': /15r. - 'An Inquiry', 24 Nov. 1934: /15v. - 'The Gains of Good', 18 Nov. 1934: /16r. - Poem beginning 'Industrious india rubber, clean' (sic), 27 Nov. 1934; a poem about acquiring and cleaning a copy of Mathew Green's 'The Spleen' printed in 1737: /16r. - 'Autumn Welfare', 26 Nov. 1934: /16v. - 'Not Great', 18 Dec. 1934: /16v. - 'Pendulum Poem', 7 Dec. 1934: /17r. - 'Meridian', 8 Dec. 1934: /17r. - 'To Some Critics': /17r. - 'Again the Dead', 9 Dec. 1934: /17r. - 'Youth in Spring', 16 Dec. 1934: /17v. - Poem beginning 'In multitudes we grope; our blurred events': /17v. - 'Familiar Spirits', 18 Dec. 1934: /18r. - 'Vibrations from Past Experience', 18 Jan. 1935: / 18r. - 'Atlas', 23 Dec. 1934: /18v. - Poem beginning 'Is it growing older & slower that makes things matter less', 27 Dec. 1934: /18v. - Draft marked 'Possibly a Poem' beginning 'Locked up in rooms, alone with far-fetched theories', 26 Dec. 1934: /19r. - 'Dreams Rediscovered', poem beginning 'They were not true, those dreams, those story books of youth', 14 Jan. 1935: /19v. - 'On Planting a Hedge of Bay', 12 Mar. 1935: /20r. - 'Berlin Crowds cheer Universal Conscription', 18 Mar. 1935: /20v. - 'The Old Lord in the Ornamental Ride', 22 Mar. 1935; illustrated: /21r. - 'A Family Tree', draft dated 24 Mar. 1935 and illustrated fair copy: /21v. - 'Rhapsodie (sic) Revelations', 26 Mar. 1935: /22r. - Poem beginning 'What's wrong, I ask, with dwelling in the past', 31 Mar. 1935: /22v. - Poem beginning 'On earthly honours we congratulate', 31 Mar. 1935: /22v. - 'Tree Chronology', 5 Apr. 1935: /23v. - 'On Edington Hill', 3 May 1935: /23v. - 'Expostulation to a Dictator', 3 Apr. 1935: /24r. - '878-1935', 4 May 1935: /24r. - 'Vigil in Spring' (with an excised earlier title of 'Night & Spring'), 19 Apr. 1935: /24v. - 'Heytesbury Summers', 29 Apr. 1935: /24v. - 'Unwisdom', 6 Apr. 1935; illustrated: /25r. - 'Life beyond Death', 7 Apr. 1935; illustrated: /26r. - 'Broadcast of Methuselah (to "the new Poets")', 14 Apr. 1935: /27v. - 'Eulogy of Heytesbury House', 24 Apr. 1935: /28v. - 'Two Jubilees', 4 May 1935: /28v. - 'Time & Oblivion', 25 Apr. 1935: /29r. - Poem beginning 'I have not sought these solemn cadences', 26 Apr. 1935: /29r. - 'Silver Jubilee Celebrations', poem satirising Rudyard Kipling's speech before the Royal Society of St George in which he claimed the country must 'Arm or Perish': /31r. This is preceded by a draft of the poem dated 7 May 1935: /29v-30r; by a related diary-type entry entitled 'Jubilee Day': /29v; and by a drawing by Sassoon of Kipling's head in semi-profile view, painted with watercolours: /30v (see also related enclosures MS Add.9852/6/6/1-2: newspaper cutting and illustration from Punch). - Draft and fair copy (excised) of 'T.E.', a poem about T.E. Lawrence, 19 May 1935: /31v. - 'Utterly Inadequate', a poem about T.E. Lawrence, 20 May 1935: /32r. - 'A Prayer (for T.E.)', a poem about T.E. Lawrence, 22 May 1935: /32v. - Poem beginning 'Our first intense awareness of the dead' (excised), 24 May 1935: /33r. - 'Behold, I Show you a Mystery', 25 May 1935: /33r. - 'Wealth of Awareness', 26 July 1935: /33v. - 'Peacetime'(excised), 5 Aug. 1935: /34r. - Two drafts of a poem with alternate titles of 'Farewell my Fancy' and 'Gradual Death of an Author', illustrated with three watercolours, 6 Aug. 1935: /34v-35r. - 'A Quietist', 1 Sep. 1935: /35v. - 'A Bookcase', 22 Dec. 1936: /35v. - 'Eternal T.E.', a poem about T.E. Lawrence, 2 July 1938: /36v. - '1935', illustrated draft poem, 9 Sep. 1935, with a note by Sassoon saying 'This needs revision': /37r (see also related enclosure). - A poem on 'Vogue's Fashion Dispatch (Sept. 1935)', written in response to a Vogue dispatch entitled 'Dressmakers join triumphal parade military mode', 10 Sep. 1935: /38r. - 'The Secret Self', 4 May 1937 with a note by Sassoon, '(Somewhere near the truth, I think if family life prevents me from being a poet!)': /38v. - 'Some Summers Hence', 26 Sep. 1935: /39r. - Two drafts of 'In Great Ridge Wood', 1-2 Oct. 1936: /39v. - 'A Mediaeval Vibration', 5 Mar. 1933: /40r. - 'The Listener', 29 Sep. 1936: /40v. - 'Outlived by Trees', 24 Dec. 1936: /40v. - 'After reading Hassall's "Poems"', 4 Oct. 1936: /41r. - 'A Blessing for my Child', 31 July 1938: /42v. - 'Childhood's Eden', 4 Aug. 1938: /42v. - 'Earth and Heaven', 5 Dec. 1936: /43r. - 'To my Son', 7 Dec. 1936: /43r. - 'Midnight & Morrow', 7 Dec. 1936: /43r. - 'Meeting & Parting', 26 Oct. 1937: /43r. - 'May-Day Ditty', 8 Dec. 1936: /43v. - 'Abdication', 10 Dec. 1936, with a note by Sassoon 'Having heard something of the real story, I am glad to have been able to have a few ignorant but decent feelings about Edward VIII!', 13 Dec. 1936: /44r. - 'Dictatorship & Dream', 6 Dec. 1936: 45v. - Three-lines of a draft poem beginning 'Old Hodgson, he's the man for me' (excised), 27 Mar. 1938: /45v. - Four-line verse concerning Hitler and Mussolini, entitled 'Moment Musicale', 27 Mar. 1938: /45v. - 'Haytime at Heytesbury', 6 June 1937: /46r & 47r. - Poem beginning 'Time, you timeless old mower of all that we men love most', 30 June 1937: /46r. - 'Queen Matilda Remembered', 21 July 1937: /47v. - Two drafts of 'Ancestral Admonition', 1 Aug. 1937: /48r. - Poem beginning 'Two thousand years away, maybe, A man looks back at what was me', 1 Aug. 1937: /48r. - 'Human Heavens' (excised), 11 Aug. 1937, which is an early draft of the poem 'The Heaven of Our Hearts [to H.R.L.S.]': /48v. - 'To Lighten our Darkness', 13 Oct. 1937: /48v. - 'Eve of War', with a note by Sassoon '(Souvenir of a near shave!)', 23 Sep. 1938: /49r. - 'Futureless Finance', 25 Feb. 1939: /49r. - 'A Grave Situation': /49r.

Additional illustrations: - Illustration for 'The Pilgrim's Progress': /23r. - Colour illustration entitled 'Incompatibility. Poetry and the "News" of the World': /36r.

Prose: - List of items for an unspecified reading (text is faint): /3r. - Prose entry beginning 'In the past I have made more than one fresh start as a poet', in which Sassoon describes his different poetry styles, from war realism to 'unemotional' and 'the poetry of dream-escape': /7v. - Notes and prose draft entitled 'What Hope for Poetry?' 10 Apr. 1935: /26v-27r. - Prose draft entitled 'Two Poets' concerning Ruth Pitter and Christopher Hassall, 17 Nov. 1936: /41v-42v. - 'Notes on my Autobiography', 23 & 29 July 1936. These notes include a brief outline of the intended contents of volumes 1-2 of his autobiography, with a discussion on the tone of voice to be used: /44v-45r. - 'Rumination in a Walled Garden (In the Walled Garden, Sunday afternoon, July 11)', 1937: /46v.

''Notes': these run from the back of the notebook and start with two illustrated title pages: /49v-57v. They include: 'Heytesbury notes', Mar.-May 1935; and 'Note on a poetical autobiography', Dec. 1935-Dec. 1936, which include outlines of the main themes of Sassoon's autobiography and of the intended contents of various chapters, along with notes on the influence of Rupert Brooke and on his pre-War years.



Eleven enclosures are to be found in separate envelopes. The foliation is the archivist's.



Dates

  • 1933-1939 (circa)

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

Extent

1 volume(s) (57 ff.) : paper

4 folder(s)

Language of Materials

English

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.