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Poems by Isaac Rosenberg

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR you

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR you know. The bother is that we will be on our ball-firing then, and also this before-mentioned affair may mess it up. This ball-firing implies we will be ready '— for the front. I have been working on Moses ' in my mind, I mean—and it was through my absent-mindedness while full of that that I forgot certain orders, and am now undergoing a rotten and unjust punishment. Fm working a curious plot into it, and of course, as I can't work here, I jot little scraps down and will piece it together the first chance I get." The remaining letters are all from France. To Miss Seaton (1916). " We made straight for the trenches, but we've had vile weather, and I've been wet through for four days and nights. I lost all my socks and things before I left England, and hadn't the chance to make it up again, so I've been in trouble, particularly with bad heels ; you can't have the slightest conception of what such an apparently trivial thing means. We've had shells bursting two yards off, bullets whizzing all over the show, but all you are aware of is the agony of your heels. ... I had a letter from R. C. Trevelyan, 31

POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG the poet. ... He writes ' : It is a long time since I have read anything that has impressed me so much as your " Moses " and some of your short poems. . . .' He confesses parts are difficult, and he is not sure whether it's my fault or his. 11 The next letter is the first of a series to Mr. Bottomley, whom he was only to know by correspondence. He was now for a time working with the Salvage Corps. To Gordon Bottomley (Postmark, June 12, 1916). " If you really mean what you say in your letter, there is no need to tell you how proud I am. I had to read your letter many times before I could convince myself you were not ' pulling my leg. 1 People are always telling me my work is promising —incomprehensible, but promising, and all that sort of thing, and my meekness subsides before the patronizing knowingness. The first thing I saw of yours was last year in the Georgian Book, The ' End of the World. 1 I must have worried all London about it—certainly everybody I know. I had never seen anything like it. After that I got hold of ' Chambers of Imagery. 1 Mr. Marsh told me of your plays, but I joined the Army and have 32

Redcliffe Voice Issue 6 Summer 2018