Unrecorded Poetry by a Teenage Girl

M. A. F. Songs of the Sea, and Other Poems.

Hastings, F. J. Parsons, Claremont, 1880.

8vo. vii pp, (1) ff, (9)-126 pp, (1) ff. Publisher’s grey cloth with gilt title on cover. Blindstamps of the Worcester Public Library on numerous leaves, as well as ink stamps of the Victoria Institute (allied to the same, now residential flats) on title-page and prelims.


Unrecorded sole edition of this collection of poems, many on nautical themes, by a 19-year old identified only as ‘M. A. F.’ A beautifully-preserved copy of an untraceable item which must have had very limited local circulation in its place of publication (Hastings).

M. A. F.’s dedication is to an unnamed mariner who has inspired many of her poems. Following this, the preface explains the genesis of the work’s publication and is worth quoting in full:

“The Dedication of this Book tells all readers that it was the Author’s first work. It was also her last. Within two months after writing ‘The Break Up’ [p. 91] she was taken Home to a ‘sure Dwelling.’ She was only nineteen then, and many of these poems were written long before. Finish of style can therefore, hardly be looked for, but it is believed that many will welcome this little book as an almost sacred memory of a short, sweet life.” - This rather haunting introduction certainly colors the contents of the work. The themes are mainly religious or sea-faring, but we are also offered glimpses of the daily life of the author, in ‘Flowers on the Baby’s Grave’, ‘Home for the Holidays’, ‘On Visiting my Birth-Place after Many Years’ Absence’, ‘To a Friend on the Death of his Wife’, ‘On the Death of my Mother’, ‘Sleeplessness’, and ‘On Finishing a M. S.’.

Unrecorded in COPAC, OCLC, etc.

Stock Code: BN#53570 Tags: ,