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[Typescript Poem] “Why”

  1. 00018606_0001
  2. 00018606_0002

Mary Webb. “Why?” Typescript poem, illegible place name and the date “1910,” written in ink and crossed out, in lower-left corner. “(Sphere) / 1911,” written in ink and crossed out, in lower-right corner. One leaf, 5½″ x 5½″, white wove paper mounted on white ruled paper. Twelve lines in two stanzas. The title is written in black ink and was probably added at a later date. The poem itself is unusually pessimistic, and alludes to an inspiring figure who has unsettled the poet. The last three lines read: “Before, I was not much unsatisfied: / but since a god has touched me and departed, / I run through every temple, broken-hearted.” Biographer Gladys Mary Coles suggests that this is a later poem to or about Henry Webb (Coles, Selected Poems of Mary Webb, 3rd ed., 2005, p. 102).