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Lot 96
GRAVES, ROBERT (1895-1985, writer and poet)
Sold for £3,840 (US$ 6,454) inc. premium
Lot Details
GRAVES, ROBERT (1895-1985, writer and poet)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HIS WAR POEM 'LIMBO', comprising fourteen lines, beginning 'After a week spent under raining skies...', 1 page, small quarto [1916]


  • MANUSCRIPT SENT TO SASSOON: it was sold at Sotheby's on 18 July 1991 (lot 53) as part of the sale of Siegfried Sassoon's papers from Heytesbury House. This wartime poem forms a link between the two poets who were very close friends at this time.

    Graves mentioned in a letter that he was sending a manuscript of 'Limbo' to Sassoon (see Sotheby's sale, lot 51). In his diary (1915-1918), Sassoon referred to the poem: 'I suppose I'm feeling what Robert Graves felt when he wrote "Is this Limbo". Shut in; no chance of escape. No music; the quest for beauty doomed' (p.74).

    The present version differs from the text as first published in Over the Brazier, 1916. For 'And the dying whisper: Parapet's too low / Collect those them up there!', this earlier version has: 'Where rats run big as kittens, breed & grow / Bigger and sleeker on their horrid fare...'
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