SASSOON, SIEGFRIED (1886-1967)
(i) AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HIS POEM 'MY MEMOIRS', 21 lines in irregular stanzas, with an autograph note at the end explaining the importance of the poem to him and how it came to be written, 1 page, small quarto, [Tufton Street, 6 November] 1923
When I was a child, old Queen Victoria reigned
And country doctors drove around in gigs
While Doctor Grace played cricket and remained
Supreme. Fat farmers haggled and complained,
And Kentish hop-pickers were housed like pigs...
This poem is not in Collected Poems and was never published by Sassoon himself; it was printed for the first time in Diaries 1923-1925.
THE BEGINNING OF SASSOON'S AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL PROSE. In his note at the end Sassoon writes: '[This is of interest to me, as it was the first time I saw the "90"s as having "period" attractiveness. It was, in fact, the beginning of the autobiographical prose which broke through 3 years later]. I wrote it after an evening with Ralph Hodgson, & gave him the only copy I made from my notebook. His conversation probably caused my new awareness of the period feeling of the "90"s.'
(ii) AUTOGRAPH REVISED MANUSCRIPT OF HIS POEM 'CONVERSATION AT CALVARY', 13 lines, on the verso of (i) above, one autograph revision, beginning 'I am a stranger. Tell me, sir, what's he - / The midmost of the three, / That takes so long in dying?...', 1 page, quarto, dated 17 January 1924
PUBLICATION OF 'CONVERSATION AT CALVARY' HAS NOT BEEN TRACED: not in Collected Poems, 1971, and not mentioned in the standard biographies.
PROVENANCE: Siegfried Sassoon; George Sassoon.
REFERENCE: Siegfried Sassoon Diaries 1923-1925, edited by Rupert Hart-Davis, 1985.