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This article is taken from PN Review 9, Volume 6 Number 1, September - October 1979.

Twenty-One Aspects of Edgell Rickword Jack Lindsay

Edgell Rickword's Poetry from the Perspective of Half a Century

I had not read Edgell Rickword's poems when in early 1928 I wrote the long essay on 'The Modern Consciousness' for the first issue of the London Aphrodite, in which I cited Sacheverell Sitwell, W. J. Turner, and Roy Campbell; but soon afterwards I read the first volume of Scrutinies, which he had edited. Then,


one night in the Fitzroy we [Betty May and myself] met Edgell Rickword, quiet and solidly built. He had lost one eye in the war, where he gained the Military Cross. Ever since I read Scrutinies, I had wanted very much to meet him. I remember going over to Betty, who did not know him, and saying, 'It's Edgell Rickword, the person I most wanted to meet in England'. (from Fanfrolico and After, an autobiography)


We became friends. This was fifty years ago. I asked him to write the introduction to my version of Aristophanes' Women in Parliament (Ecclesiazusai), which I was printing in the Fanfrolico Press; and he gave me for the Aphrodite the poem 'The Lousy Astrologer's Present to his Sweetheart' (where the speakers are himself and Betty, with whom he had taken up).


I now got hold of Edgell's poetry and admired it very much. He had published the first book in English on Rimbaud and was strongly influenced by Baudelaire and Rimbaud, by the true symboliste ...


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