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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."

Henry Reed Henry Reed
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Henry Reed, ca. 1960


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Reeding:

Cold Comfort Farm: Sensible Flora Poste moves in with her eccentric country relatives.
The Dog Stars: A man, his dog, and an airplane survive an apocalyptic flu.
The Sparrow: A Jesuit-led mission to a newly discovered planet.


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Posts from May 2007

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

18.12.2014


Comparison Shopping

I've been busy busy busy with library business at work, and haven't had much time for updating here, I'm afraid. Ten-hour+ work days don't leave a poor clerk, however glorified, with energy left over for pleasure-librarying. Tisk tisk. But I have noticed that Carcanet Press' forthcoming reissuance of Reed's Collected Poems has made it to Amazon.com proper, whereas it formerly appeared only on Amazon.co.uk.

Book cover

The real news is that Carcanet's page for the Poems now shows that, in addition to being edited by Jon Stallworthy, the paperback will include a Foreword by critic Frank Kermode. That will certainly breathe fresh life into the re-release of Reed's poetic oeuvre. Kermode knew Reed personally, both in London and while Reed was teaching at the University of Washington, Seattle, in the mid-1960s.

I do hope Kermode's Foreword does not come at the sacrifice of Stallworthy's excellent Introduction to the original Oxford Poets collection. (I also hope, if they are using the text of Kermode's 1991 review of the Collected Poems, that Carcanet has caught his incidental inversion of 'duellis' and 'puellis', from Horace's Odes and in Reed's "Naming of Parts.")

Let's see: Carcanet has the Collected Poems (ISBN-13: 978-1857549430) listed for £11.69, available in July. Amazon.co.uk has it for just £8.54, beginning July 26th. And Amazon.com has it for $23.95, available on August 1st. A little quick currency conversion, and we get that £8.54 is currently worth roughly $16.86, so perhaps it's cheaper to buy it from the UK, but with shipping it's probably a wash. We'll see!

«  Books Poetry  0  »


1505. Orwell, George. "Young Writers." Review of New Writing and Daylight (Summer 1943), edited by John Lehmann. Spectator (30 July 1943): 110.
Orwell says of "The End of an Impulse," Reed's criticism of the Auden-Spender school of poetry, 'Henry Reed's essay contains some valuable remarks on the dangers of group literature.'


Mystery Solved

Well, the mystery is solved, and the fault is mine. It's all right here, in black and white.

See, here's the story: I couldn't figure out where Reed had written the line 'To fight without hope is to fight without grace.' The quote opens the chapter "Where Are the War Poets?" in Shires' British Poetry of the Second World War.

I did find, however, a similar line in the poem, "To a Conscript of 1940": 'To fight without hope is to fight with grace.'

Going back to my original photocopy this evening, I realized I had copied the quote incorrectly, inserting the second without. By doing so, I fell victim to one of the classic blunders.

I mistook Herbert Read for Henry Reed. God help me.

The correct quote is 'To fight without hope is to fight with grace.' Shires misattributed it to Reed; I failed to copy it correctly; and now I have sorely embarrassed myself by not recognizing the compounding error, despite having the source material in front of me! For shame!

«  Quotations Errata  0  »


1504. Ludwig, Jennifer. "Lessons of the War: Henry Reed." In vol. 2, Literature of War: Experiences, edited by Thomas Riggs. Detroit, MI: St. James Press, 2012. 359-361.
A relatively lengthy assessment of Reed's influences, position, and the impact resulting from his famous sequence of poems, Lessons of the War.



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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