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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«  Torn Chimerical Flowers  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog


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:


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.

Add Notation:


Notation for "Torn Chimerical Flowers":
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What is Henry Reed's first name?

1529. Sackville-West, Vita. "Seething Brain." Observer (London), 5 May 1946, 3.
Sackville-West speaks admirably of Reed's poetry, and was personally 'taken with the poem called "Lives," which seemed to express so admirably Mr. Reed's sense of the elusiveness as well as the continuity of life.'

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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