Combined Item
Lot 1
Sold for £2,160 (US$ 3,630) inc. premium
Lot Details
Autograph presentation manuscripts of three sonnets: "To lie flat on the back with the knees flexed", "Turn not towards me lest I turn to you" and "On the provincial lawn I watch you play", on 3 sheets of writing paper, occasional time-staining and light spotting but nevertheless in good and attractive condition, 8vo, [c.1930-1934]


  • THREE LOVE POEMS BY AUDEN FROM THE THIRTIES: the first and best known of these poems, "To lie flat on the back", was set to music by Auden's friend Benjamin Britten in 1937, and has been the subject of several recent recordings. Our manuscript of the poem, although clearly starting life as a fair copy, contains several revisions and differs markedly from the published versions. For example, "watches count but do not judge the hour" was to be replaced by "pulses count but do not judge the hour" and "Far down on the white sidewalk in the heat" becomes "Below on the white sidewalk in the heat". It was first published in Look, Stranger!, 1936. The others were published in New Verse, October 1933, and Rep, October 1934, but not collected. For the published texts and further details, see Edward Mendelson, The English Auden, 1977, pp. 146 and 149. These attractive and carefully-written manuscripts were given by Auden to his friend John Garrett.
Similar items
KEATS, JOHN (1795-1821, poet) Enrico Donati (1909-2008) Vaso di fiori Letters TSElliott to E Faber 2 volumes HUGHES, TED (1930-1998, poet, O.M.) PORTRAIT BY SYLVIA PLATH (1932-1963), MODERN POETRY W.H Auden - Stop All The Clocks