1 year ago

Poems by Isaac Rosenberg


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

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