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Edited by Sandeep Parmar
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Categories: 20th Century, Women
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (320 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2011)
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eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Sep 2011)
(Pub. Sep 2011)
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Hope Mirrlees (1887-1978) has long been regarded as the lost modernist. Her extraordinary long poem Paris (1920), a journey through a day in post First World War Paris, was considered by Virginia Woolf ‘obscure, indecent, and brilliant’. Read today, the poem retains its exhilarating daring. Mirrlees’s experimentalism looks forward to The Waste Land; her writing is integral to the twentieth-century canon.
And yet, after Paris, Mirrlees published no more poetry for almost half a century, and her later poems appear to have little in common with the avant garde spirit of Paris. In this first edition to gather the full span of Mirrlees’s poetry, Sandeep Parmar explores the paradoxes of Mirrlees’s development as a poet and the complexities of her life.
Sandeep Parmar was the first scholar to gain access to the Mirrlees Archive at Newnham College, Cambridge, and her edition includes many previously unpublished poems discovered there in draft form. The text is supported by detailed notes, including a commentary on Paris by Julia Briggs, and a selection of Mirrlees’s essays. The generous introduction provides the most accurate biographical account of Mirrlees’s life available. Mirrlees’s Collected Poems is an indispensible addition to a reading of modernism.
Julia Briggs OBE was Professor of Literature and Women’s Studies at De Montfort University. Among her many influential publications were a biography of E. Nesbit and her acclaimed Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life. She died in 2007.
Cover Painting Juan Gris (1887-1927), Breakfast, 1915. Oil on canvas. Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris / Peter Willi / The Bridgeman Art Library
A Note on the Text xlix
Select Bibliography lii
Hope Mirrlees, ca. 1920 liv
PARIS: A POEM (1920) 1
MOODS AND TENSIONS (1976)
The Copper-Beech in St. Giles’ Churchyard 22
The Death of Cats and Roses 24
A Skull 25
Et in Arcadia Ego 26
The Land of Uz 28
The Glass Tánagra 30
The Legend of the Painted Room 30
‘Une Maison Commode, Propre, et Belle...’ 32
The Rendez-Vous 32
Bertha frightens Miss Bates 33
In a Pagan Wood 36
Sickness and Recovery at the Cape of Good Hope in Spring 37
Winter Trees 40
A Portrait of the Second Eve, Painted in Pompeian Red 43
Amor Fati 45
Heaven is Not Fairyland 45
A Meditation on Donatello’s Annunciation in the Church
of Santa Croce, Florence 46
A Doggerel Epitaph for My Little Dog, Sally 51
Jesus Wept 52
PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED POEMS AND TRANSLATIONS
I’d like to get into your dreams 55
Crossed in Love 55
Love Lies Dying 56
To Mrs Patrick Campbell 57
To Jean, Who Loves Faerie-tales 58
The Moon-Flowers 59
Carpe Diem 61
My Soul Was a Princess 61
The Moon-Maid 62
from My Mother’s Pedigree 63
The Faerie Changelings 64
‘Some talk of Alexander and some sing Monty’s praise’ 65
A Friendship 66
The Shooting Stars 66
Ostia Antica 67
The Toad 67
The Invocation, by Anna de Noailles 68
Dusk, by Albert Samain 70
Some Aspects of the Art of Alexey Mikhailovich Remizov (1926) 75
Listening in to the Past (1926) 85
An Earthly Paradise (1927) 90
The Religion of Women (1927) 94
Gothic Dreams (1928) 98
Bedside Books (1928) 102
NOTES AND APPENDIX
Commentary on Paris, by Julia Briggs 113
Notes on the Poems and Essays 129
Appendix: ‘To Her. A twilight poem’, by Jane Ellen Harrison 138
Index of Titles and First Lines 141
'Sandeep Parmarâs edition of Hope Mirrleesâ poetry is a testimony to modern scholarship and provides a missing piece of the British modernist jigsaw.'
Matthew Mitton, Women: A Cultural Review
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