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[Manuscript Poem] “The Elf”

  1. 00018535_0001
  2. 00018535_0002

Mary Webb. “The Elf.” Manuscript poem, one leaf, 8¾″ x 6⅛″, on off-white wove ruled paper, titled in pencil in another hand. Twenty-one lines in three irregular stanzas, black ink, with corrections. The third stanza ends with a comma, and lacks its conclusion. This early poem by Webb is one of several in which she lovingly describes her Welsh borderlands and the town of Shrewsbury. Webb’s early poems were largely descriptive, drawn from her impressions of Shropshire and its changing seasons. This manuscript and the typescript show significant variations from “The Elf” published in Poems and The Spring of Joy (1928), and are rare examples of a poem whose composition was significantly reworked by Webb.