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Collected Poems (Front) | by Reeding Lessons
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Collected Poems (Front)

Henry Reed (1914—86), author of 'Naming of Parts', probably the most anthologized English poem of the Second World War, has too often been held to be that and that only. This book gives the lie to that misperception. In addition to A Map of Verona, published in 1946, and the sequence, Lessons of the War (1970), he wrote numerous radio plays for the BBC — including Moby Dick and the Hilda Tablet group — and was also a fine translator, particularly from the Italian.


On his death Reed left behind a sheaf of uncollected poems that had appeared in magazines, particularly the Listener, and many still in manuscript. These, together with all the published work, a group of translations, a selection of songs from the radio plays, and a number of drafts and fragments, complete this Collected Poems.


Jon Stallworthy, poet, critic, and prize-winning biographer of Wilfred Owen, has had access to Reed's manuscripts, and has written a biographical and critical introduction. The volume also contains notes on the poems.


'. . . here is distilled a uniquely gifted and individual poetic talent insufficiently appreciated in its lifetime. Henry Reed takes his place alongside Auden, MacNeice, and Durrell: poets whose ease and familiarity with Europe is allied to a sure sense of English style.' — Peter Porter


Jacket illustration (front) Henry Reed

(back) Extract from an undated autograph fragment, 'The Chateau' (reproduced by kind permission of The Executor of Henry Reed's Estate).

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Taken on July 16, 2011