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Eleven Poems.

Stock Code 104305

Belfast, Festival Publications, 1965

Original price $3,000.00 - Original price $3,000.00
Original price $0.00
$3,000.00 - $3,000.00
Current price $3,000.00
First edition of Heaney's rare first published work, with the notice for his 'first book of poems, Death of a Naturalist' to be published in Spring 1966. There are three apparent 'issues' of Heaney's first publication, the first two are in white self wrappers, with the Festival Publications' roundel in light purple then, as here, dark purple. The third manifestation was issued in green wrappers with printing details on the lower wrapper in two distinct states. These are not issues; they are distinct printings. No less appealing and bibliographically important for that, but the persistent notion that the later issues are somehow part of the original printing is false. Rare thus in such condition.

From the collection of J. Kenneth Jamison (1931-2016), Director of the the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Heaney's friend, who was instrumental in putting on the event that brought Heaney, Longley, and Hammond together on the stage to perform their poems and songs at venues across Ireland. The very first poem, 'Personal Helicon (For Michael Longley)' (whose work appeared in the same Festival Publications series) in its opening and closing lines ('As a child, they could not keep me from wells / and old pumps with buckets and windlasses. / I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky' and 'I rhyme / to see myself, to set the darkness echoing') prefigures the Nobel Prize acceptance speech that Heaney would make 30 years later, 'I credit [poetry] ultimately because [it] can make an order as true to the impact of external reality and as sensitive to the inner laws of the poet's being as the ripples that rippled in and rippled out across the water in that scullery bucket fifty years ago. An order where we can at last grow up to that which we stored up as we grew. An order which satisfies all that is appetitive in the intelligence and prehensile in the affections. I credit poetry, in other words, both for being itself and for being a help, for making possible a fluid and restorative relationship between the mind's centre and its circumference.'

First edition, second 'issue' (with the ten-point sun symbol); single octavo quire; internally clean; publisher's stapled self wrappers printed in black & light purple. A very nice copy.

Brandes & Durkan A1b.

Provenance: J. Kenneth Jamison.


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Eleven Poems.

HEANEY, Seamus.

Stock code: 104305



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