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
Henry Reed Henry Reed
Henry Reed, ca. 1960



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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«  Contemporary Dearth  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog


Contemporary Dearth

I'm a sucker for a good list poem. Henry Reed's "Naming of Parts" is a list poem, of the cockamamie, villanelle sort. A list poem that includes Henry Reed? That much better. The last one we had, I think, was Anthony Thwaite's "On Consulting 'Contemporary Poets of the English Language'," from the anthology New Poetry (1976), edited by Patricia Beer.

Not surprisingly, this poem also comes from New Poetry (Julian Symons, ed., 1983): "Contemporary Dearth," by Valerie Blake. Blake has a little something to say about Dame Edith Sitwell's decision not to be included in Kenneth Allott's 1950 survey, The Penguin Book of Contemporary Verse (something about which her brother Sachie, apparently, had no qualms):

Contemporary Dearth

Miss Edith Sitwell, from whose work I had selected two 'late' pieces
for inclusion. . .felt unable to grant my request on the ground that
this selection would not do her justice. . .
Yeats and Eliot, Wyndham Lewis
Lawrence, Joyce and de la Mare;
John Heath-Stubbs and William Plomer
Francis Scarfe and Edwin Muir.

Sidney Keyes and David Gascoyne
Williams, Charles, and Laurie Lee;
Lawrence Durrell, Peter Quennell
Herbert Read and Watkins, V.

Normans Nicholson and Cameron
Terence Tiller, Wilfred O.;
Blunden, Rosenberg and Huxley
Empson, Auden, H. Monro.

Robert Graves and Alun Lewis
Edward Thomas, Barker, G.;
Michael Roberts, Dylan Thomas
Fuller, Roy, Day Lewis, C.

Siegfried Sassoon and Arthur Waley
Andrew Young and Henry Treece;
Heppenstall, R., and W. R. Rodgers
Kathleen Raine and Louis MacNeice.

Kenneth Allott, Stephen Spender
Richard Church and Spencer, B.;
Betjeman, John, Sacheverell Sitwell
Henry Reed and Prince, F. T.

Campbell, Roy, Charles Madge, Anne Ridler
Patric Dickinson, Alan Hodge;
Lehmann, John, and Laurence Binyon
Warner, Rex, and Ruthven Todd. . . .
As a result there is a gap, which I regret, in the representative nature
of this collection.

Kenneth Allott, Editor, The Penguin Book of Contemporary
[pp. 28-29]

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Notation for "Contemporary Dearth":
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What is Henry Reed's first name?

1530. Radio Times. Billing for "The Book of My Childhood." 19 January 1951, 32.
Scheduled on BBC Midland from 8:15-8:30, an autobiographical(?) programme from Henry Reed.

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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