AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT, IN EFFECT A DRAFT, OF HIS SCOTS POEM 'MANSOUL AND BIRD', RENAMED HEREIN 'LISTENING TO THE SKYLARK', 16 lines, with extensive autograph revisions in pencil and pen and ink preserving reconsidered readings, 2 pages, quarto, taken from a lined exercise book, not dated
Are you, bricht songbird, o' the earth or sun? Or baith? - And tell me, gin the last, Oh! can
A like sublime duality - in life.
No' daith! - no whiles be by a man?...
MANUSCRIPTS BY MACDIARMID ARE RARE: none have been sold at auction. This poem was published in Complete Poems under the title 'Listening to a Skylark.' MacDiarmid was (like Wallace Stevens) an habitual destroyer of his drafts except for those in his notebooks which have not become available for sale. The MacDiarmind papers are largely at Austin, Texas, and Edinburgh University.
PROVENANCE: K.D. Duval.