1 year ago

Poems by Isaac Rosenberg


POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG few hours my heels were all blistered, and Fve been marching and drilling in most horrible pain. I drew three weeks 1 pay and had some money sent me from home, and bought a pair of boots three or four sizes too large for me, my feet had swelled so. Besides this trouble I have a little impudent schoolboy pup for an officer, and he has me marked ; he has taken a dislike to me : I don't know why." To Miss Seaton {from Bury St. Edmunds). " Thanks for your letter and your books which they sent me from home. It is impossible to read as we are, and I don't expect to get proper leisure for reading till this rotten affair is over. My feet are pretty nigh better, and my hands, and I am put down for a Lance-Corporal. The advantage is, though you have a more responsible position, you are less likely to be interfered with by the men, and you become an authority. I expect to be home for four days shortly. I don't know whether I told you Lascelles Abercrombie sent me a fine letter about my work, which made me very bucked. There is nobody living whose praise could have pleased me so much. I have some pictures at the N.E.A.C, one of which is likely to be sold.'" 28

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR To Edward Marsh {from Bury St. Edmunds). " I suppose my troubles are really laughable, but they do irritate at the moment. Doing coal fatigues and cookhouse work with a torn hand, and marching ten miles with a clean hole about an inch round in your heel, and bullies swearing at you, is not very natural. I think when my hands and feet get better Til enjoy it. Nobody thinks of helping you— I mean those who could. Not till I had been made a thorough cripple an officer said it was absurd to think of wearing those boots, and told me to soak them thoroughly in oil to soften them. Thank you for your note ; we get little enough, you know, and I allow half of that to my mother (I rather fancy she is going to be swindled in this rat-trap affair), so it will do to get to London with. You must now be the busiest man in England, and I am sure would hardly have time to read my things ; besides, you won't like the formlessness of the play. If you like you can send them to Abercrombie, and read them when you have more time. I don't think I told you what he said : A good many of your poems strike me ' as experimental and not quite certain of themselves. But, on the other hand, I always find a vivid and original impulse ; and what I like most 29