About:

Documenting the quest to track down everything written by (and written about) the poet, translator, critic, and radio dramatist, Henry Reed.

An obsessive, armchair attempt to assemble a comprehensive bibliography, not just for the work of a poet, but for his entire life.

Read "Naming of Parts."

Henry Reed Henry Reed
Henry Reed Henry Reed
Henry Reed, ca. 1960


Contact:


Reeding:

I Capture the Castle: A girl and her family struggle to make ends meet in an old English castle.
Dusty Answer: Young, privileged, earnest Judith falls in love with the family next door.
The Heat of the Day: In wartime London, a woman finds herself caught between two men.


Elsewhere:

Books

Libraries

Weblogs, etc.


All posts for "Art"

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

17.4.2021


Henry Reed Caricature

I'm happy to be able to share this excellent caricature of Henry Reed drawn by the artist Rod MacGregor, a self-described "mover of pens":
Reed caricature

Rod's other work can be found on The Pen Mover Flickr and Instagram pages, including these great renderings of Robert Frost and William Burroughs.

«  Art Illustration  0  »


1530. Radio Times. Billing for "The Book of My Childhood." 19 January 1951, 32.
Scheduled on BBC Midland from 8:15-8:30, an autobiographical(?) programme from Henry Reed.


P J Crook's The Naming of Parts


PJ Crook

"The Naming of Parts" (2003), acrylic on wood and found objects, by P J Crook, in the collections of the Imperial War Museum:

This piece refers to Henry Reed's poem of the same name, drawing on his experiences in the Second World War. It was made during the recent war with Iraq in 2003, in reaction to another of the artist's pieces in the Museum's Art collection, 'Other Mothers' Sons.'

«  NamingOfParts Art  0  »


1529. Sackville-West, Vita. "Seething Brain." Observer (London), 5 May 1946, 3.
Vita Sackville-West speaks admirably of Reed's poetry, and was personally 'taken with the poem called "Lives," which seemed to express so admirably Mr. Reed's sense of the elusiveness as well as the continuity of life.'


Naming of Parts Poster

Team Impression, a printing house based in Leeds, are celebrating their tenth anniversary with a year-long project called Ten, featuring ten 'articles and accompanying posters which are the result of collaborations between some of the world's most prestigious names in graphic design.'

The third collaboration for the Ten project is based on a setting of Henry Reed's "Naming of Parts" by the graphic artist and typographer Pamela Bowman, who co-founded the design studio dust in 2000. What began as a student project at Leeds Metropolitan University in 1995 was eventually published by Simon King Press in 1999 as Lessons of the War: An Artist's Book. In Bowman's design, the text of Reed's poem is presented on see-through stock, illustrating the dream-like, backward-and-forward qualities of the soldier's internalization of his lesson:

Pam Bowman

The renowned graphic designer and author Ken Garland calls Bowman's book 'a most sensitive and suitable use of translucent paper to convey the idea of parallel spoken and internal text.' Garland and Bowman discuss the work on Team Impression's Ten webpages, where you will see the poster that resulted from their collaboration. Links to purchase a limited, numbered edition of the A2 poster at the bottom of the page!

«  Art NamingOfParts  0  »


1528. Manning, Hugo. "Recent Verse." Books of the Day, Guardian (Manchester), 31 July 1946, 3.
Manning feels that 'Mr. Reed has worn thin much of his genuine talent in this direction by too much self-inflicted censorship.'


Read, Reed, Stokes (and Reid)

Adrian Stokes was an eminent British art critic, and a painter and poet in his own right. Born in 1902, educated at Oxford, Stokes met Ezra Pound during a trip to Italy, and it was Pound who persuaded T.S. Eliot at Faber & Faber to publish Stokes' first collections of essays: The Quattro Cento: A Different Conception of the Italian Renaissance (1932), and The Stones of Rimini (1934). Later works include Smooth and Rough (1951), and Michelangelo: A Study in the Nature of Art (1956).

In his 2002 introduction to Stokes' Michelangelo, the late Richard Wollheim begins:

In his lifetime Adrian Stokes achieved the kind of fame that has nothing to do with success. No book of his sold more than five hundred copies, but his prose, fiercely difficult by the standards of the time, seized the imagination of some of the most interesting and creative minds of his age. They included sculptors, painters, poets, architects, critics of the arts: Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Henry Reed, Colin St John Wilson, William Coldstream, Elizabeth Bishop, Lawrence Gowing, Andrew Forge; the list could go on.

That's one heck of a fan club. I was curious about how Wollheim compiled this list, and a quick search turns up an official Adrian Stokes website (caution! pop-up ads).

There we find Dr. Stephen Kite, a Stokes scholar, quoting a letter written to the Times Literary Supplement in 1965, "signed by eighteen prominent thinkers and artists — including Coldstream, Moore, Hepworth and Wollheim — claimed Adrian Stokes as amongst 'the most original and creative.... writers on art.'" A-ha! That's three of the critics on Wollheim's list, as well as Wollheim himself. Thankfully, Kite provides footnotes for his references.

Going to the TLS for August 12, 1965, we find the letter Kite refers to: a response to a list of important books of the first half of the decade, in the July 29 issue. Here is the letter, reproduced in its entirety:

Sir,—The list of "English Books of the 1960s" in your special number, "Sounding the Sixties", includes, under various headings, more than twenty volumes concerned with aspects of art. During the 1960s Mr. Adrian Stokes has published his Three Essays on the Paintings of our Time, Painting and the Inner World, and The Invitation in Art. None of them gets a mention in your list. Although, as you say, 'the list does not pretend to completeness', it seems to us unfortunate that it should exclude a writer who has claims to being the most original and creative living English writer on art.
   ALAN BOWNESS, WILLIAM COLDSTREAM, ANDREW FORGE, JOHN GOLDING, LAWRENCE GOWING, STUART HAMPSHIRE, BARBARA HEPWORTH, FRANK KERMODE, R. B. KITAJ, ROBERT MELVILLE, HENRY MOORE, JOHN PIPER, HERBERT READ, HENRY REED, NORMAN REID, JOHN RUSSELL, DAVID SYLVESTER, RICHARD WOLLHEIM.
(p. 697)

With the addition of Bishop, Nicholson, and Wilson, that fills out Wollheim's list. I wonder why he mentions Reed in his introduction, and not the better-known Herbert Read? There are other connections, too: both Stokes and Reed were influenced by the psychoanalytic theories of Melanie Klein (Stokes was a patient of Klein's), and at least three of the artists and writers who signed the letter to the editor knew Reed personally: art critic Robert Melville, from Birmingham (brother of the painter John Melville, see below); Frank Kermode, whom Reed knew in London and Seattle; and, of course, Elizabeth Bishop.

Adrian Stokes died in 1972. A selection of his poetry can be found on the Adrian Stokes website, and many of his paintings can be viewed online through the Tate Gallery.

«  AdrianStokes TLS Art  0  »


1527. Rosenthal, M.L. "Experience and Poetry." Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review (New York), 17 October 1948, 28.
Rosenthal says Reed shares with Laurie Lee 'that unhappy vice of young intellectuals—a certain blandness of which the ever-simple irony is a symptom.'


Have You Seen This Painting?

I am looking for a painting. Specifically, I am looking for "Portrait of Henry Reed," painted by John Melville (1902-1986), the English surrealist associated with The Birmingham Group. A photograuvre reproduction of the painting appeared in the Penguin New Writing, vol. 27, in 1946. I'm keenly interested to know where this portrait currently resides:

Portrait of Henry Reed

Logically, the portrait was created prior to 1946. A potential clue to its genesis appears in Reed's 1954 radio play, The Private Life of Hilda Tablet. During the course of the play, the renowned composeress Hilda Tablet directs the narrator, "Herbert Reeve" (wink, wink), to interview a friend and artist, affectionately called "Bunny":

Hilda:   R. Egerton Bunningfield, ARA. He painted a damn good portrait of me in 1943.
   (fade chords behind Mr Bunningfield. He seems rather weighed
   down by unsuccess
)

Bunningfield:   Well, yes, the picture has been much admired, and it was very good of Miss Tablet to sit for it. I asked her to, you know. It was meant to be one of a series of great women of the time, their part in the war effort. Naturally, I wasn't quite prepared for quite all the conditions Miss Tablet imposed. I wanted her to be playing an instrument, of course, but what I had in mind was a clavichord or the like, with highlights on a brocade dress and so on. I never imagined she would insist on the instrument being a bugle, though I agree it was appropriate to a picture illustrating the war effort and that. And she also insisted on it being an open-air composition; that's the whole of the Pennine Chain in the background... And quite frankly, Mr Reeve, she's the kind of figure I really would have preferred to have painted draped... but no, she insisted...
   (fade last words behind chords)

Hilda Tablet and Others: Four Plays for Radio (1971), p. 70

Is the character Bunningfield an homage to Reed's Birmingham chum? Did Melville ask Reed to sit for him in 1943, as part of series of wartime portraits of Birmingham notables? It's difficult to know for sure which details of the radio plays are lifted entirely from Reed's life. The mention of the Pennines is intriguing as well, since it places the fictional painter in northern England (not terribly far north of Birmingham). All this is speculation, of course, and I could be wrong as wrong.

I got to thinking about Reed's misplaced portrait this evening, after learning that the BBC announced today a commitment to digitize all 200,000 of Britain's oil paintings in public ownership, and have them available online by 2012. More information on the effort, and the BBC's "deeper commitment to arts and music," at the Guardian.

«  Painting Art  1  »


1526. Blunden, Edmund. "Poets and Poetry." Bookman, n.s., 1, no. 4 (July 1946): 14-15.
Edmund Blunden says Reed's Lessons of the War poems 'have captured something of the time-spirit and ambiguity of the recent war in a style of wit and deep feeling united.'



1st lesson:

Reed, Henry (1914-1986). Born: Birmingham, England, 22 February 1914; died: London, 8 December 1986.

Education: MA, University of Birmingham, 1936. Served: RAOC, 1941-42; Foreign Office, Bletchley Park, 1942-1945. Freelance writer: BBC Features Department, 1945-1980.

Author of: A Map of Verona: Poems (1946)
The Novel Since 1939 (1946)
Moby Dick: A Play for Radio from Herman Melville's Novel (1947)
Lessons of the War (1970)
Hilda Tablet and Others: Four Pieces for Radio (1971)
The Streets of Pompeii and Other Plays for Radio (1971)
Collected Poems (1991, 2007)
The Auction Sale (2006)


Search:



LibraryThing


Recent tags:


Posts of note:



Archives:

Current
February 2021
January 2021
October 2020
March 2020
January 2020
November 2019
October 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
December 2018
May 2018
April 2018
January 2018
February 2017
January 2017
October 2016
September 2016
February 2016
December 2015
August 2015
July 2015
May 2015
March 2015
December 2014
June 2014
April 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
January 2013
December 2012
October 2012
September 2012
July 2012
June 2012
April 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
July 2010
June 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
December 2004
October 2004
March 2004
January 2004
December 2003


Marginalia: