"GONE ARE THE DAYS/ WHEN WE CALLED AGRICULTURE 'TILTH'…": COLLECTED POEMS 1965, WARMLY INSCRIBED WITH AN ORIGINAL POEM BY ROBERT GRAVES, AND GRAVES' OWN AUTOGRAPH CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION LAID IN
GRAVES, Robert. Collected Poems 1965. London: Cassell, (1967). Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $2200.
Second printing of this collection of Graves' poetry, presentation copy warmly inscribed by Graves on the front free endpaper and on the dust jacket, with an original four-line poem he has titled "Nomenclature" penned by the poet on the verso of the dust jacket, and with Graves' humorous and accurate autograph catalogue description of the volume laid in.
Graves has inscribed this copy on the front free endpaper: "To Moray Glasser J.P. with many thanks for his courtesy; and greetings to his irrepressible Glasgow, Robert Graves, Deyá, March 1971." On the front flap of the dust jacket he has penned, "see under flap," and on the verso of the dust jacket he has handwritten the following poem: "Nomenclature – Gone are the days/ When we called agriculture 'tilth'/ And unexceptionable reception 'praise'/ And pornographic masterpieces 'filth.'" He has initialed the poem "R.G." Laid in on a separate sheet of white wove paper measuring 5-1/2 by 8-1/4-inches is Graves' own autograph catalogue description of the volume it accompanies, indicating that Graves was clearly quite familiar with the terminology and conventions of rare book dealers. The description, which repeats his poem, reads: "Robert Graves. Collected Poems. 1965. Second printing – 1967. With a signed presentation inscription from the author on the ffep and an original poem on the inside surface of the front dw flap. 'Nomenclature – Gone are the days/ When we called agriculture 'tilth'/ And unexceptionable reception 'praise'/ And pornographic masterpieces 'filth.' R.G." This collection was published as the culmination of Graves' career as a poet: "From 1961 to 1966 he was professor of poetry at Oxford, and in 1968 one of his poems was awarded an Olympic gold medal at the games in Mexico City. Later that year the queen presented him with her gold medal for poetry. Finally, in 1971, St John's College, Oxford, made him an honorary fellow" (ODNB). First published in 1965.
Book with just a touch of wear to foot of spine, near-fine; original dust jacket with a bit of light edge-wear and creasing, gently toned spine, exceptionally good. Desirable inscribed by Graves with original verse.