1 year ago

Poems by Isaac Rosenberg


POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG started rather excitedly and tripped myself, coming down pretty heavily in the wet grit, and am in hospital with both my hands cut. I've been here since last Saturday, and expect to be out by about the beginning of the week. It is a dull kind of life in the hospital, and I'm very anxious to get out and be doing some rough kind of work. Mr. Shift' sent me some water-colours, and I amuse myself with drawing the other invalids. Of course, I must give them what I do, but I can see heaps of material for pictures here. The landscape, too, seems decent, though I haven't seen anything but from the barracks, as this accident happened pretty near at the start. I hope you were not annoyed at that fib of mine, but I never dreamt they would trouble to find out at home. I have managed to persuade my mother that I am for home service only, though, of course, I have signed on for general service. I left without saying anything because I was afraid it would kill my mother or I would be too weak and not go. She seems to have got over it, though, and as soon as I can get leave I'll see her, and I hope it will be well. It is very hard to write here, so you must not expect interesting letters; there is always behind or through my object some pressing sense of foreign matter,

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR immediate and not personal, which hinders and disjoints what would otherwise have coherence and perhaps weight. I have left all my poems, including a short drama, with a friend, and I will write to him for them, when I shall send them either direct to Abercrombie or to you first. I believe in myself more as a poet than a painter ; I think I get more depth into my writing. I have only taken Donne with me, and don't feel for poetry much in this wretched place. There is not a book or paper here; we are not allowed to stir from the gate, have little to eat, and are not allowed to buy any if we have money, and are utterly wretched. (I mean the hospital.) If you could send me some novel or chocolates, you would make me very happy. 1 "' To Edward Marsh [from Bury St. Edmunds). " I received a letter to-day (sent over a week ago) from Abercrombie, and I feel very flushed about it. He says no one who tries to write poetry would help envying some of my writing. Since I wrote you I have had more mishaps. My feet now are the trouble. Do you know what privates' military boots are ? You are given a whole armourer's shop to wear ; but, by God ! in a 27