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[Manuscript Poem] “On Receiving A Box Of Spring/Flowers In London”

  1. 00018554_0001
  2. 00018554_0002

Mary Webb. “On receiving a box of spring / flowers in London.” Manuscript poem, one leaf, 8½″ x 5½″, on off-white ruled paper. Twelve lines on recto and two on verso. Webb’s yearning for Shropshire was keenest in spring, when London’s greening parks reminded her that she was exiled from her beloved county. This poem reflects Webb’s ecstatic delight upon receiving spring flowers from Shropshire while living in her cramped Hampstead cottage. She expresses delight in violets, aconites and snowdrops that had been sent from her Lyth Hill cottage garden. Mrs. Thorne, a neighbor, recalled: “She was always very fond of flowers. Later on, when she went to London, I used to send her boxes of them from her garden” (Wrenn, Goodbye to Morning, 1964, p. 66). In contrast with her earlier manuscripts—written in a small, neat and firm hand—this manuscript poem has scrawled letters, uneven lines, and numerous cross-outs and corrections.