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Poems by Isaac Rosenberg

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR The

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR The end is an attempt to imagine the severance of all human relationship and the fading away of human love. Later on I will try and work on it, because I think it a pity if the ideas are to be lost for want of work. My ' Unicorn , play is stopped because of my increased toil, and I forget how much or little I told you of it. I want to do it in one Act, although I think I have a subject here that could make a gigantic play. I have not the time to write out the sketch of it as far as it's gone, though I'd like to know your criticism of it very much. The most difficult part I shrink from ; I think even Shakespeare might :—the first time Tel, the chief of the decaying race, sees a woman (who is Lilith, Saul's wife), and he is called upon to talk. Saul and Lilith are ordinary folk into whose ordinary lives the Unicorn bursts. It is to be a play of terror—terror of hidden things and the fear of the supernatural. But I see no hope of doing the play while out here. I have a way, when I write, to try and put myself in the situation, and I make gestures and grimaces.' 11 To Gordon Bottomley (Postmark, July 20, 1917). " My sister wrote me of your note, and it made me very glad to feel you thought in that way about my 43

; POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG poem, because I liked it myself above anything I have yet done. I know my letters are not what they should be ; but I must take any chance I get of writing for fear another chance does not come, so I write hastily and leave out most I should write about. I wished to say last time a lot about your poem, but I could think of nothing that would properly express my great pleasure in it and I can think of nothing now. If anything, I think it is too brief—although it is so rare and compressed and full of hinted matter. I wish I could get back and read your plays ; and if my luck still continues, I shall. Leaves have commenced with us, but it may be a good while before I get mine. We are more busy now than when I last wrote, but I generally manage to knock something up if my brain means to, and I am sketching out a little play. My great fear is that I may lose what Eve written, which can happen here so easily. I send home any bit I write, for safety, but that can easily get lost in transmission. However, I live in an immense trust that things will turn out well." To Gordon Bottomhy (1917). "The other poems I have not yet read, but I will 44

Redcliffe Voice Issue 6 Summer 2018