Collection of seven manuscript poems. May Sarton.
Collection of seven manuscript poems.
Collection of seven manuscript poems.
Collection of seven manuscript poems.
(Sarton, May)

Collection of seven manuscript poems.

(Cambridge): 1930. Small octavo. 6ff. Group of seven manuscript love poems written by Sarton and presented as a Christmas gift to her teacher, Anne Longfellow Thorp. Four of these poems were published in the December, 1930 issue of Poetry magazine -- Sarton's first appearance in print. The four poems, which were grouped under the title "Words on the Wind," bear some subtle textual differences from this manuscript: in "First Love," a "moon-blind" found in the manuscript is changed to "snow-blind"; a repeating motif in "Let No Wind Come" is changed so that "Only a moth's wing beating at the core" becomes "Only a moth's heart beating at the core." Perhaps the most interesting revision occurs toward the end of "They Also." The line about a pair of flying geese parting in air "Back to his separate skin, his human feather" is changed in the published version to read "Back to his separate skin, his meager feather," thus pushing the metaphor a little further and leaving the reader to intuit the connection. Evidence that Sarton was working on this small gift book in late November is borne out by a letter to her parents on the 30th, in which she requests "bright blue Japanese paper for mounting... about twelve sheets of that beautiful Italian paper for my poetry books." She then outlines the design for the book: "I'm using the bird as endpaper and the peacock as frontispiece. The cover will be very plain with no design." In the end, though, she would use the linocut of the peacock -- printed in blue and orange -- on the front cover. The granddaughter of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Thorp taught at Shady Hill School, and she and Sarton became lifelong friends. Sarton's 1985 novel The Magnificent Spinster was based on Thorp's life. Fragile blue paper wrappers show chipping and are split along the spine fold; internally very fine. Item #23902

Price: $3,850.00

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