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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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«  Spectator Review  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

16.12.2017


Spectator Review

The smallest of book reviews appears in the August 23, 1946 Spectator's "New Poetry". Sheila Shannon critiques Grigson's Isles of Scilly; Talking Bronco, by Roy Campbell; The Voyage and Other Poems, by Edwin Muir; and Henry Reed's A Map of Verona. She begins by invoking the Romantics:

Shelley, in his preface to The Revolt of Islam, defined as one of the most essential attributes of poetry 'the power of awakening in others sensations like those animate in my own bosom.' It is an attribute often overlooked, this power to communicate not ideas or images but sensations, to reach at some moment the heart of the reader; it is not perhaps the most important, but it is an essential one.

Shannon then devotes half a page to Grigson, spends half a page on Campbell, a mere two paragraphs on Muir, and can finally only lend five sentences to Reed, without so much as a quote.

Henry Reed's first book—A Map of Verona—provides (I can only say for me) a great deal of enjoyment. Here is a young poet. All sensation if you like; but sensation springing from imagination with the true poet's gift of making the real imaginary. It is highly romantic, young poetry, but written by someone with an ear and a self-indulgent appreciation of words and their musical and evocative power. At present the obvious influence is T.S. Eliot, but Mr. Reed has a strong enough talent to assimilate in time even so seductive a master.
Sheila Shannon (p. 198)

At least they were most favorable sentences! I particularly relish her turn of phrase, about true poets "making the real imaginary."

Sheila Shannon was married to Patric Dickinson, and was both a poet and editor of poetry. Her poems appeared in the Spectator, Observer, and Poetry London, and were collected in The Lightning-Struck Tower (1947).


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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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