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Collected Poems, 1909-1935
NY, Harcourt Brace, (1936). Later printing [1946]. With Matthiessen's ownership signature and his notes on more than a dozen pages, e.g. "Eliot uses literature to make literature, it would be idiotic to misconstrue the author's method of association as plagiarism." On the front endpaper Matthiessen has transcribed the epigraph of Celine's Voyage au Bout du Nuit (Journey to the End of the Night) in the original French: the epigraph, in translation, reads "Our life is a journey/ Through winter and night,/ We look for our way/ In a sky without light./ - (Song of the Swiss Guards)." Elsewhere Matthiessen has written more extensively in the margins than was typically his habit: in the poem "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," he has not only translated the Greek-language epigraph ("Alas, I am smitten by a fatal blow") but recounts its context as "Agamemnon being killed in bath by Clytemnestra." In "Gerontion" he has identified in the margins the battles alluded to in the early lines of the poem. In "The Hollow Men" he has noted "Reference to Dante's Inferno/ canto's III & IV/ group of people - neither in/ hell nor in heaven./ Neither good nor bad." Numerous other poems bear similar marginal annotations. A revealing glimpse of the young Matthiessen's engagement with literature, poetry, and Eliot in particular. A fair copy only, lacking the dust jacket. [#032386] SOLD

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