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[Manuscript Poem] “The Garden In Winter”

  1. 00018545_0001
  2. 00018545_0002

Mary Webb. “The Garden in Winter” and “Vigil.” Manuscript poems, one leaf, 8″ x 6¼″, on off-white laid ruled paper, nine lines (on recto), black ink. On the verso is a poem of four lines in black ink titled “Vigil.” In the archive of poems purchased from Henry Webb in the late 1930s, “Vigil” is the only poem that was not published in Poems and The Spring of Joy (1928), one of the seven volumes of The Collected Works of Mary Webb (perhaps because it was printed on the verso of “The Garden in Winter” and missed by the publisher?) “Vigil” was first published seventeen years later, in Fifty-One Poems (1946), after Webb’s widower, Henry, found an additional cache of poems among Mary’s papers. “The Garden in Winter” alludes to a real or imagined companion who comes to share the poet’s mourning. “Vigil” follows the same theme: “To stoop so low from out thy new found splendour / And watch, through all my nights of loss, with me.”