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Severn and Somme and War's Embers

Ivor Gurney

Edited by R.K.R. Thornton

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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857543 48 3
Categories: 20th Century, British, War writings
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Published: September 1997
198 x 130 x 15 mm
156 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Editor
  • Contents
  • Only the wanderer
    Knows England's graces,
    Or can anew see clear
    Familiar Faces.
    And who loves joy as he
    That dwells in shadows?
    Do not forget me quite,
    O Severn meadows.


    from `Song'


    Ivor Gurney's poetic career was unusual. It began in 1917 and 1919 with two small volumes of verse, Severn and Somme and War's Embers. After that, though he planned further books, none appeared until Edmund Blunden's 1954 Selected Poems. By then Gurney, who entered an asylum in 1922, had been dead for 17 years.

    Carcanet, in association with MidNAG, has sought to recreate what would have been Gurney's poetic trajectory, issuing not only his War Letters and Collected Letters, but the books he did publish, and those he would have published had he been able to do so. This volume includes his 1917 and 1919 books, while later volumes, rather than merely select from the mass of archive material, follow his changing instructions and present the oeuvre as he might have wished it.

    Gurney's musical training -- with Herbert Howells, under Stanford at the Royal College of Music -- saw him writing songs and setting others' lyrics. He heard and read the Georgians. Then the War came and in 1916, as a private in the 2nd/5th Gloucesters, he began the service which more or less stopped his musical career. In 1917 he was gassed at Ypres and posted back to England. Within five years he had entered the Dartford mental hospital where he ended his days.
    Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements



    A Brief Chronology



    Introduction



    SEVERN & SOMME



    Title page of first edition

    Preface

    To Certain Comrades

    The Fire Kindled

    To the Poet before Battle

    Maisemore

    Afterwards

    Carol

    Strange service

    Serenity

    The Signaller's Vision

    The Mother

    To England - A Note

    Bach and the Sentry

    Letters

    Stafe

    Acquiescence

    The Strong Thing

    Scots

    To an Unknown Lady

    Song and Pain

    Purple and Black

    West Country

    Firelight

    The Estaminet

    Song

    Ballad of the Three Spectres

    Communion

    Time and the Soldier

    Influences

    After-Glow

    Hail and Farewell

    Praise

    Winter Beauty

    Song of Pain and Beauty

    Spring. Rouen, May 1917

    June-To-Come

    "Hark, Hark, the Lark"

    Song at Morning

    Trees

    Requiem

    Requiem

    Requiem

    Sonnets 1917

                1 For England

                2 Pain

                3 Servitude

                4 Home-Sickness

                5 England the Mother



    WAR'S EMBERS



    Title page of first edition

    Dedication: To M.M.S.

    The Volunteer

    The Farm

    Omens

    Eternal Treasure

    Fire in the Dusk

    Turmut-Hoeing

    In a Ward

    Camps

    Girl's Song

    Solace of Men

    Day-boys and Choristers

    At Reserve Depot

    Toasts and Memories

    From the Window

    Ypres-Minsterworth

    Near Midsummer

    Toussaints

    The Stone-Breaker

    Drifting Leaves

    Contrasts

    To F.W.H.

    The Immortal Hour

    To His Love

    Migrants

    Old Martinmas Eve

    After Music

    The Target

    Twigworth Vicarage

    Hospital Pictures:

    1 Ladies of Charity

    2 Dust

    3 "Aberdonian"

    4 Companion - North=east Dugout

    5 The Miner

    6 Upstairs Piano

    Hidden Tales

    Recompense

    The Tryst

    The Plain

    Rumours of Wars

    "On Rest"

    Dicky

    The Day for Victory

    Passionate Earth

    The Poplar

    Down Commercial Road (Gloucester)

    From Omiecourt

    Le Coq Francais

    The Fisherman of Newnham

    The Lock-keeper

    The Revellers

    "Annie Laurie"

    The Battalion is Now on Rest

    Photographs

    That Country

    Interval

    De Profundis

    The Tower



    Commentary

    Map

    The Composition of Severn & Somme

    Notes to Severn & Somme

    The Composition of War's Embers

    Notes to War's Embers

    Further Reading

    Index of Titles and First Lines

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