The Collected Poetry.New York: Random House, 1945 Stock Code: 146839
First edition, third printing, familiarly inscribed by the author using his first name reserved for friends, "Bill Gray with best wishes Wystan Auden", his printed name struck through. Auden has written "1927-1944" under the title, reflecting his original (rejected) wish that, "as to the title, I want Poems 1928-1945. The word Collected suggests finality which I hope, anyway, is incorrect".
The recipient Dr William ("Woods") Shelton Gray, Jr (1926-1993) fostered friendships with major literary figures such as Auden and T. S. Eliot, and on one occasion met Ezra Pound. Auden dedicated the poem "The Aliens" to Gray, toured Europe with him, and in 1971 found him a position as a visiting lecturer in American Literature at the University of Graz in Austria.
Octavo. Original light blue cloth, spine lettered in gilt on black ground, top edge black.
Annotated leaf of reading notes laid in. Spine ends toned, slight rubbing to extremities, minor wear to corners, contents clean and free from marks. A very good copy in the defective dust jacket, with spine panel missing.
Bloomfield and Mendelson A27.
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