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1935-39 RG diary

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Joined: 23 Sep 2002
Posts: 1
Location: University of Victoria

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:56 pm    Post subject: 1935-39 RG diary Reply with quote

Ian and I thought that visitors to this forum would be interested to know that I am beginning to edit the 1935-39 Graves diary for presentation on the web. The diary which is housed at the University of Victoria, B.C., is fairly lengthy (over 1800 mss pages) and includes fascinating glimpses into RG's life in the later LR years. The diary, enclosures and miscellaneous additions have been scanned and some are very interesting. I wanted to show two fascinating images from the diary to give you a taste of what it contains. The first is a page from the diary: Oct 24th, 1937, in which Robert describes a picnic lunch in Chichester with James and Mary Reeves; Laura Riding, Norman Cameron, Harry and Alix Kemp and Bridget? at which they played a word game and composed a communal sonnet in the style of Beddoes to send the TLS. http://www.robertgraves.org/diary/sonnet_diary.jpg The second is the actual sonnet with each line attributed and Robert's comment: "No words, only conjunctions & sequences changed." http://www.robertgraves.org/diary/sonnet.jpg A prize to anyone who can identify Bridget or can say whether the sonnet was actually accepted for publication by the TLS. Chris Petter
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Joined: 25 May 2002
Posts: 72
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:06 am    Post subject: Bedoes Reply with quote

I wasn't familiar with Bedoes and did a google search on him and found this site which should answer any and all questions about whom Graves et al were parodying:


Writing "in the style" of another poet is clearly something that Riding and Graves practiced. Perhaps the most famous section of their A Survey of Modernist Poetry includes rewriting of ee cumming's poem Sunset in the style of Remy De Gourmont


In both cases, the results were a parody.

cummings poem, sunset, reads:


gold swarms
upon the spires

chants the litanies the
great bells are ringing with rose
the lewd fat bells
and a tall

is dragging




Graves and Riding transformed the poem, after reading Gourmont's Litanies De La Rose http://www.johnwilliamwaterhouse.com/poetry/poem18.asp into this:

Sunset Piece
After reading Remy De Gourmont

White foam and vesper wind embrace.
The salt air stings my dazzled face
And sunset flecks the silvery seas
With glints of gold like swarms of bees
And lifts tall dreaming spires of light
To the imaginary sight,
So that I hear loud mellow bells
Swinging as each great wave swells,
Wafting God's perfumes on the breeze,
And chanting of sweet litanies
Where Jovial monks are on their knees,
Bell-paunched and lifting glutton eyes
To windows rosy as these skies.

And this slow wind--how can my dreams forget--
Dragging the waters like a fishing-net.

In any case, this is a fascinating find and worthy of some further research!
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