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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.

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Henry Reed, ca. 1960


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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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«  A Field of Large Desires  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

7.5.2021


A Field of Large Desires

I've just discovered that Carcanet included Reed's underappreciated longer poem, "The Auction Sale," in a 2010 anthology of work originally published as Greville Press pamphlets: A Field of Large Desires.

Book cover

Edited by Anthony Astbury, who opened the Greville Press (officially) in 1979 in the hopes that poetry in England "will happen again," the new collection is "both a treasure trove and a celebration of a remarkable venture."

The title comes from a sonnet by Fulke Greville, Lord Brook:
Man's youth it is a field of large desires,
Which pleas'd within, doth all without them please;
For in this love of men live those sweet fires,
That kindle worth and kindness unto praise;
     And where self-love most from her selfness gives,
     Man greatest in himself, and others lives.
The anthology includes pieces by Robert Bridges, Hart Crane, Elizabeth Daryush, Lawrence Durrell, Kate Ellis, David Gascoyne, W.S. Graham, Robert Graves, Ian Hamilton, John Heath-Stubbs, George Herbert, John Masefield, Edna O'Brien, Harold Pinter, Anne Ridler, Alan Ross, Martin Seymour-Smith, C.H. Sisson, Stevie Smith, and Arseny Tarkovsky, among others.

Henry Reed's "The Auction Sale" was printed as a Greville Press pamphlet in 2006.


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Notation for "A Field of Large Desires":
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What is Henry Reed's first name?

1531. Henderson, Philip. "English Poetry Since 1946." British Book News 117 (May 1950), 295.
Reed's A Map of Verona is mentioned in a survey of the previous five years of English poetry.



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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