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Poems by Isaac Rosenberg

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR my

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR my mind to clear through all this rubbish, but I want your help. Now, I'm going to give a series of lectures on modern art (I'm sending you the first, which I gave in great style. I was asked whether the Futurists exhibited at the Royal Academy). But I want to make the lectures interesting and intelligible by reproductions or slides. Now, I wonder whether you have reproductions which you could lend me till I returned or was finished with them. I want to talk about John, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Innes, the early Picasso (not the cubistic one), Spencer, Gertler, Lamb, Puvis de Chavannes, Degas. A book of reproductions of the P.- Impressionists would do, and I could get them transferred on slides. I hope this would not put you to any great trouble, but if you could manage to do it you don't know how you would help me. Stanley gave me a little job to paint two babies, which helped me to pay my way for a bit. I expect to get pupils and kick up a row with my lectures. But nobody seems to have money here, and not an ounce of interest in Art. The climate's tine, but the Sun is a very changeable creature and I can't come to any sort of understanding with this golden beast. He pretends to keep quiet for half an hour, and just as I think, ' Now I've got it, 1 23

POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG the damned thing has frisked about. There's a lot of splendid stuff to paint. We are walled in by the sharp upright mountain and the bay. Across the bay the piled-up mountains of Africa look lovely and dangerous. It makes one think of savagery and earthquakes—the elemental lawlessness." The next extract is from a letter written in 1915, just after hearing the news of Rupert Brooke's death. To Miss Seaton. "Do you know Emerson's poems? I think they are wonderful. 'Each and Air I think is deep and beautiful. There is always a kind of beaminess, like a dancing of light in light, in his poems. I do think, though, that he depends too much on inspiration ; and though they always have a solid texture of thought, they sometimes seem thin in colour or sensuousness. in To Miss Seat Oil. " I saw Olive Schreiner last night. She's an extraordinary woman—full of life. I had a little picture for her from a dear friend of hers in Africa I stayed with while I was there. She was so pleased with my pictures of Kaffirs. Who is your best living 24