The Colossus and Other Poems
London, Heinemann, (1960). A review copy of the true first edition of her first book, issued in an edition of only 500 copies, and the only collection of her poetry published in her lifetime -- by a writer who is nonetheless universally considered among the most influential poets of the postwar era. Her only other book published before she committed suicide was the autobiographical novel The Bell Jar. This copy of The Colossus belonged to literary critic A.E. Dyson and was used for his extensive and ardently positive 4-page review in Critical Quarterly, the publication he co-founded. Dyson's notes run throughout the text of the book, on to both rear endpages, and across both jacket flaps. Perhaps more than 500 of Dyson's words in the text -- almost every page has marks and comments, sometimes extensive ones -- which became a more than 1000-word review. The review concluded that the book "establishes Miss Plath among the best of the poets now claiming our attention; the most compelling feminine voice, certainly..." For a writer who was living and writing in the shadow of her more famous husband, the poet Ted Hughes, who was acquainted with such figures as T.S. Eliot and others, Dyson's review helped to convey to Plath that she too could be recognized on her own terms as a worthy poet. A copy of the Summer 1961 Critical Quarterly with the review is included; it also features two additional, previously unpublished, Plath poems. Dyson first encountered Plath the year before, when she submitted a poem called "Snake" (later "Medallion") to a Critical Quarterly competition, which she won, the judges being Philip Larkin, C.B. Cox, and Dyson himself. Minor foxing to the top edge, with a slight spine slant and two foredge bumps; near fine in a very good dust jacket with rubbing to the joints, very small edge chips, and some staining and darkening that is mostly visible on the rear panel. A noteworthy copy of an important and uncommon first book. [#032814] SOLD
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