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Poems [Signed by Nobel Prize Winner George Seferis]
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916. First edition. Hardcover. Very Good. If it must be, let it come in the heat of action. Why flinch? It is by far the noblest form in which death can come. It is in a sense almost a privilege. . . ." (Alan Seeger, from a letter written in 1915) A Very Good copy of the first edition, first printing, in the Publisher's original brown cloth (wear to spine ends, board edges, and corners --as is common with this scarce title, no dust jacket), SIGNED BY GEORGE SEFERIS on the front free endpaper and there inscribed in Greek by him to fellow author Rex Warner who frequently worked with Seferis, translating his works from Greek to English. A Greek Diplomat, Ambassador to the UK, and one of the Twentieth Century's most important Greek Poets, George Seferis won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Literature for "his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture", making him the first Greek ever to have received the Prize. Warner's excellent translations of Seferis' works contributed significantly to Seferis' winning the Prize. In his inscription, Seferis notes three pages of the book ("32 84 97") which, presumably, he especially wanted Warner to read. At these pages there appear "The Nympholept", "Kyrenaikos", and "At the Tomb of Napoleon Before the Elections in America - November, 1912". Alan Seeger (an uncle to American Folk singer Pete Singer) was a classmate of T. S. Eliot's at Harvard and himself a quite promising poet who both edited and wrote for the "Harvard Monthly". After a period of bohemian living in New York, attending parties at a boarding house where painter John Butler Yeats (father of William Butler Yeats) lived and over which he presided, Seeger moved to Paris and, in August, 1914, joined the French Foreign Legion so he could fight on the Allied side in World War I. He was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Ironically, Seeger is most famous for his poem "I Have a Rendezvous with Death", a favorite of American President John F. Kennedy who often asked Jacqueline Kennedy to recite it for him. Dying gloriously at an early age is a recurrent theme in Seeger's Poetry, and "Poems", Seeger's only book, was published in 1916, after Seeger was killed in battle. Reviewing the book in "The Egoist", T. S. Eliot wrote: "Seeger was serious about his work and spent pains over it. The work is well done, and so much out of date as to be almost a positive quality. It is high-flown, heavily decorated and solemn, but its solemnity is thorough going, not a mere literary formality. Alan Seeger, as one who knew him can attest, lived his whole life on this plane, with impeccable poetic dignity; everything about him was in keeping." Copies of "Poems" are themselves quite scarce, especially in collectible condition, and presentation copies signed by a Nobel Laureate in Literature are, of course, rare. A Very Good copy, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING POET GEORGE SEFERIS TO HIS FRIEND AND FELLOW AUTHOR REX WARNER. RARE.
      [Bookseller: Allington Antiquarian Books, LLC]
Last Found On: 2013-08-03           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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