Augury. An Oxford Miscellany of Verse & Prose.Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1940 Stock Code: 99176
First edition, first impression, signed five times and annotated by the poet John Waller, and with a publisher's compliments slip laid-in. Waller has signed his two poetic contributions, "Photograph Album" and "Ophelia"; added a barely legible original poem, signed, on the same page; annotated a Keith Douglas translation of Horace; and inscribed his prose piece "On the Nature of Poetry", in a perhaps drunken hand: "A little pupus hid of midterm, as I now realise. Yours respectfully, Sir John Stanier Waller, aged fifty now, 2 Sept 1962".
After Oxford, Sir John Stanier Waller, 7th Baronet (1917-1995), would become an eccentric alcoholic war-poet posted in the Middle East. Though his military achievements were little esteemed (his greatest achievement was to lose a convoy of 23 trucks between Port Tewfiq and Cairo), his literary activity there was significant: he founded the Salamander Society (alongside the poet Keith Bullen) and launched Oasis: The Middle East Anthology of Poetry from the Forces in August 1943. He managed to confuse his military and literary priorities when, on his transferral to the Ministry of Information, he promoted as his sergeant-major the unlikely candidate of poet G. S. Fraser, qualified only by Waller's liking for his verses. After the war he published a number of well-received collections: The Merry Ghosts (1946), Crusade (1946), and The Kiss of Stars (1948); and, though his later creativity was slight, he was awarded the Keats Prize in 1974.
Octavo. Original boards, titles to spine and front in black, illustration to from board in red.
Spine a little tanned, light rubbing to extermities, small chip to head of spine, a very good copy indeed, sound and internally fresh.
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