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Documenting the quest to track down everything written by (and written about) the poet, translator, critic, and radio dramatist, Henry Reed.

An obsessive, armchair attempt to assemble a comprehensive bibliography, not just for the work of a poet, but for his entire life.

Read "Naming of Parts."

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Henry Reed, ca. 1960


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Reeding:

I Capture the Castle: A girl and her family struggle to make ends meet in an old English castle.
Dusty Answer: Young, privileged, earnest Judith falls in love with the family next door.
The Heat of the Day: In wartime London, a woman finds herself caught between two men.


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«  Posts from 23 March 2008  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

16.12.2017


[Here, at last, is Henry Reed's final word in these matters, though it seems nothing has been settled to anyone's satisfaction. What began as two articles on "Poetry in War-Time," written for The Listener in January 1945, resulted in a lengthy exchange of letters and a debate over the difference between traditional and modern verse. Joining the fray today is the poet and journalist, Allan M. Laing. Part 9 and the conclusion is next.]

The Listener

The Listener, 22 March, 1945. Vol. XXXIII. No. 845 (p. 324) [.pdf]
Poetry in War Time
I have nothing to add to this discussion except a few words of protest at the attempts of Mr. Richards and Mr. Bliss to credit other people with as great a talent in the non sequitur as their own. I did not suggest that good poets had lacked appreciation in the past (nor do they now). What I did suggest was that there has always been a vociferous sub-current of criticism which hates the contemporary; and that that tradition is maintained by Mr. Richards, Major Hunter and Mr. Bliss. And I should be the last to suggest that such -voices infiuence public appraisal very much, even in their own time. But if they ask questions, one must attempt to answer them, even if they will not—dare I quote?—'stay for an answer'.

Bletchley
Henry Reed


The passion for obscurity, which prevents so much modern verse from being poetry, is a perennial problem, and the criticism of it current today may be matched from the distant past. In 1646, François Maynard, a French poet, published an epigram addressed to a contemporary writer, which may be Englished as follows:
The sense of what you write
   Lies locked behind close bars:
Your language is a night
   Lacking the moon and stars.

My friend, your garden weed
   Of this dark mystic strain:
Your works at present need
   A god to make them plain.

If you wish to conceal
   The beauties of your mind,
How odd you do not feel
   Silence to be more kind!
Could a wiser admonition be addressed to the authors of some of the verse we are expected to understand in Horizon, New Writing, etc.?

Liverpool
Allan M. Laing


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What is Henry Reed's first name?

1513. Hodge, Alan. "Thunder on the Right." Tribune (London), 14 June 1946, 15.
Hodge finds 'dry charm as well as quiet wit' in "Judging Distances," but overall feels Reed is 'diffuse and not sufficiently accomplished.'



1st lesson:

Reed, Henry (1914-1986). Born: Birmingham, England, 22 February 1914; died: London, 8 December 1986.

Education: MA, University of Birmingham, 1936. Served: RAOC, 1941-42; Foreign Office, Bletchley Park, 1942-1945. Freelance writer: BBC Features Department, 1945-1980.

Author of: A Map of Verona: Poems (1946)
The Novel Since 1939 (1946)
Moby Dick: A Play for Radio from Herman Melville's Novel (1947)
Lessons of the War (1970)
Hilda Tablet and Others: Four Pieces for Radio (1971)
The Streets of Pompeii and Other Plays for Radio (1971)
Collected Poems (1991, 2007)
The Auction Sale (2006)


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