A Letter to a Young Poet. Virginia Woolf.

A Letter to a Young Poet

Banting, John. Soft Cover. London: Published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1932. 1st Edition. Near Fine.

The Hogarth Letters Series No. 8. First edition. One of 6,000 copies. Publisher's stiff cream wrappers, with an illustration by John Banting of a hand holding a pencil poised over a writing pad to the front wrapper in green and black, lettered in black. Near fine, with some light toning to the extremities, else fine. A clean copy. Kirkpatrick A17. Woolmer 314. A Letter to a Young Poet is Woolf's address to John Lehmann that was published as the 8th installment of The Hogarth Letters, a series which also included E. M. Forster's "A Letter to Madan Blanchard," Rebecca West's "A Letter to a Grandfather," and Francis Birrell's "A Letter from a Black Sheep," among others. In this piece, Woolf reflects on the art of poetry, literature, and, specifically, letter writing, which she says "has only just come into existence." Specifically, she is responding to Lehmann's letter in which he praised The Waves and implored Woolf to express her opinion of modern poetry. In response, Woolf argues that a poet needs both introspection and a keen understanding of humankind; she muses, "a work of renovation… has to be done from time to time and was certainly needed, for bad poetry is almost always the result of forgetting oneself" but continues that "all becomes distorted and impure if you lose sight of that central reality," namely the relationship between oneself and the rest of humanity, and implores "-now… that poetry has done all this, why should it not once more open its eyes, look out of the window and write about other people?" Notably, this letter was later collected in the posthumous collection The Death of the Moth (1942).

Item #VW093

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