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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.

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Henry Reed, ca. 1960


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«  Torn Chimerical Flowers  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

23.9.2014


Torn Chimerical Flowers

Here's a very short critique and quote for Reed's A Map of Verona: Poems (1946). It appears in the Expository Times for November, 1946, in a collection of quick-fire reviews of recent poetry, by an R.W. Thomson (not The R.W. Thomson).

Thomson covers, in rapid succession: Dylan Thomas' Deaths and Entrances; Norman Nicholson's The Old Man of the Mountains; Under T'Hawthorn by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe; Edwin Muir's The Voyage and Other Poems; For Those Who Are Alive (anthology); Sidney Keyes: Poems; Frank Kendon, Each Silver Fly; and C.S. Lewis' George MacDonald Anthology. And, of course, dear Henry's quote:

Cover

Henry Reed, in A Map of Verona (Cape; 3s. 6d.), tells the story of man's struggles, his delusions, and his questionings—

You . . .
. . . tug at the streaming earth to find some spot
In which you may plant your torn chimerical flowers
With a ruined wall to protect them.
[p. 56]

The "torn chimerical flowers" line (a great line) is from a poem in Reed's Tintagel sequence, "Iseult la Belle."

I really should create a page on Henry's site to compile all these short reviews and "recent" mentions. There were a lot of them in 1946 and '47.


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What is Henry Reed's first name?

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.'



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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