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Collected Poems and Plays
Edited by Alan Munton
Categories: 20th Century
Imprint: Fyfield Books
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (234 pages)
(Pub. Aug 2003)
Again let me do a lot of extraordinary talking.
Again let me do a lot!
Let me abound in speeches - let me abound! - publicly polyglot!
Better a blind word to bluster with - better a bad word than none lieber Gott!
Watch me push into my witch's vortex all the Englishman's got
To cackle and rattle with - you catch my intention?
from 'The Song of the Militant Romance'
At the beginning of his career Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) wrote vigorous poetry, and plays which in their form and vehement characterisation resemble the later work of Samuel Beckett. This volume includes major works: One-Way Song, and Enemy of the Stars in its two very different versions, as well as other writings that can now be seen as central to the formation of Lewis's work.
The plays and poems crackle with ferocious energy, concentrated and brilliant, as Lewis creates a literary equivalent to the visual revolutions of Cubism and Vorticism. He explores how an artist should think and write in an oppressive world, the relationship between imagination and action.
This edition, with Alan Munton's annotations, is a definitive text based on Lewis's own final corrections. An introduction by C.H. Sisson places these radical works in the context of Lewis's other writings.
Table of Contents
Introduction - C.H.Sisson
The Song of the Militant Romance
If So the Man You Are
Enemy of the Stars (1914)
The Ideal Giant
Enemy of the Stars (1932)
Physics of the Not-Self
APPENDIX: UNPUBLISHED POEMS AND FRAGMENTS
'The Liquid brown detestable earth'
'The life of memory concerned me next'
Textual and Bibliographical NOtes
Cover of One-Way Song 1933
Title page of One-Way Song 1933
Design for 'Engine Fight-Talk'
Design for 'The Song of the Militant Romance'
The Duc de Joyeux Sings
Design for 'If So the Man You Are'
Telegram from One-Way Song
Design for 'One-Way Song'
Prelimary from Blast 1
'Advertisement' from Blast 1
Cover Design for 'The Ideal Giant' 1917
Title page of Enemy of the Stars
Two figures and a star
Title page of 'Physics of the Not-Self', 1932
Praise for C.H. Sisson `His poems move in service of the loved landscapes of England and France; they sing (and growl) in love of argument, in love of seeing through, in love of the firm descriptions of moral self-disgust; they move in love of the old lost life by which the new life is condemned.'
Donald Hall, New York Times Book Review 'I think he is worth a place on the short shelf reserved for the finest twentieth-century poets, with Eliot and Rilke and MacDiarmid.'
Robert Nye, the Scotsman
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