1 year ago

Poems by Isaac Rosenberg


POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG The following pieces have appeared posthumously : "In Piccadilly," "If You are Fire/' "Heart's First Word, II ," " Wedded/' " I Did Not Pluck at All," in Art nml Letters, Summer, 1919 ; with an " In Mcmoriam " notice by Annie Rosc-nherg. " Killed in Action," in Colour, Octoher, 1919. " Savage Son£ " (" A Naked African " from " Moses "), "God," in Rainbow (New York), Octoher, li>20 ; with an " In Memoriam " notice by Horace Brodzky. "I Mingle with Your Bones"; with an article by Samuel Roth, in Voices, Summer, li)2L

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR I Of the many young poets who gave their lives in the war, Isaac Rosenberg was not the least gifted. Adverse circumstances, imperfect education, want of opportunity, impeded and obscured his genius ; but whatever criticism be made of his poetry, its faults are plainly those of excess rather than deficiency. His writing was often difficult and obscure, because he instinctively thought in images and did not sufficiently appreciate the limitations of language. Also, a continual fear of being empty or thin led him to an over- intricate complexity. But there was no incoherence in his mind. And the main object of these notes, beyond recording the facts of his life, is to illustrate the growth and workings of his mind from his own letters, which will be the best commentary on his poems. I cannot precisely fix the date, but it must have been some time in 1912, when one morning there came to me a letter in an untidy hand from an 1 A