BETJEMAN, JOHN (1906-1984)
Lot 48
Sold for £2,500 (US$ 4,199) inc. premium
Lot Details
BETJEMAN, JOHN (1906-1984)
AUTOGRAPH REVISED MANUSCRIPT OF HIS NOSTALGIC POEM 'EUNICE', 28 lines in seven quatrains, with numerous autograph revisions and deletions particularly in the last three stanzas, the revisions taking the poem almost to its final form, and preserving reconsidered readings, presumably otherwise unrecorded, 1 page, folio, ruled and probably from a paper ledger, not dated

With her latest roses happily encumbered
Tunbridge Wells Central takes her from the night
Sweet second bloomings frost had faintly umbered
And some double dahlias waxy red & white...

I can see her waiting on this chilly Sunday
For the five forty (twenty minutes late)
One of many hundreds to dread the coming Monday
To fight with influenza & battle with her weight.

Tweed coat & skirt that with such anticipation
On a merry spring time a friend had trimm'd with fur
Now the friend is married &, oh desolation,
Married to the man who might have married her.

High in Onslow Gardens which the soot flakes settle on
Empty flat {is} waits {the} her struggle up the stair
And when she puts the wireless on, the heater & the kettle on
It's cream & green & cosy, but home is never there.

Home's here in Kent...

No manuscript of this poem has been sold at auction. It is published in Collected Poems.

PROVENANCE: Alan Rawlings.
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