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The Poet’s Tongue [George Mackay Brown's copy]

 
The Poet’s Tongue [George Mackay Brown's copy] by AUDEN, W H; John Garrett - George Mackay Brown - T S Eliot (1938)
Author: AUDEN, W H; John Garrett - George Mackay Brown - T S Eliot
Title: The Poet’s Tongue: An Anthology [George Mackay Brown’s annotated copy]
 
Year: 1938
Publisher: G Bell and Son
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
 
Price: £200
 
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George Mackay Brown's copy with critical annotation to T S Eliot’s ‘Journey of the Magi’, the poem that inspired his own Epiphany meditation, A Calendar of Kings.

Publisher’s blue cloth, heavily worn, cloth splitting along hinges, a good copy only. Ownership inscription in blue-black ink to the first flyleaf: ‘George M Brown April 1942’. Mackay Brown’s annotations are confined to Eliot’s poem and written in pencil. Alongside the poem’s first lines he has noted ‘Rhythm being established.... ‘ with further notes relating to ‘Ideas of fertility from Waste Land’, Eliot’s use of the imagery of ‘crucifiction’ and next to Eliot’s narrative distancing in the closing stanza ‘An old man giving an interview to a reporter.’

For English language poets Eliot was the poet of the twentieth century which makes this a compelling witness to the young Orcadian coming to terms with this wonderful poem. Mackay Brown’s acquisition of this book dates from around the time of his diagnosis with tuberculosis in his early 20s, a time of intense reading for the young poet which kept him away from active war service during repeated stays in Kirkwall’s Eastbank Sanatorium.
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