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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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«  Love, Italian Style  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

15.12.2017


Love, Italian Style

I have a backlog of items to dump into the bibliography. Forests of printouts languish, unindexed. By the time I return to them, I'll have forgotten why I printed them out in the first place. Titles like: Common Ground: An Anthology, The Poem in Question, and Poetry of the Second World War: An International Anthology (all of which reprint "Naming of Parts"); American Women Photographers: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography (lists Rollie McKenna's portrait of Reed); King Edward's School, Birmingham: 1552-1952; John Lehmann: A Tribute; and Twentieth Century Italian Literature in English Translation: An Annotated Bibliography, 1929-1997.

Significantly, there is also Montale in English, the Preface to which contains this lament by the editor, Harry Thomas:

In the end I have decided to include the work of fixty-six translators, but I might have included that of dozens more. The one real regret I have, though, is the absence from this anthology of several translations — Henry Reed's rendering of the great Mottetti, for instance — which repose unprintably in archives.

Thomas is referring to Reed translating into English a series of love song-poems (motets), by the Italian poet Eugenio Montale who, in 1975, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Montale in English

In his Introduction to the Collected Poems, Stallworthy mentions Reed having "drafted and all but finished polishing" his translation of Montale's Mottetti, but the work never reached publication, and must still be among his papers and notebooks at the University of Birmingham.


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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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