Rare Poetry Books & First-Edition Poetry Books for Sale Online
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"Thus easily can Earth digest A cinder of sidereal fire, And make her translunary guest The native of the English shire": First edition, presentation copy of The Great Divorce; inscribed by C.S. Lewis with a pre-publication appearance of 'The Meteorite'
London: Geoffrey Bles: The Centenary Press, 1945.
First edition of the author's allegorical tale about a bus ride from Hell to Heaven. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper with a pre-publication appearance of his 5-stanza autograph poem, The Meteorite, "The Meteorite Among the hills the meteorite Lies huge; and moss has overgrown, And wind and rain with fingers light Made soft the contours of the stone. Thus easily can Earth digest A cinder of sidereal fire, And make her translunary guest The native of the English shire. Nor is it strange these wanderers Find in her lap their fitting…
Price: $40,000.00 Item Number: 143245
"unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!": Rare Mimeographed Sheets of The Howl Produced for its First Reading. Preceding the First Edition and signed by Ginsberg and five others present at the Six Gallery in October of 1955
Two sheets from an exceptionally rare privately produced mimeographed printing of Howl, preceding the first edition. One of 25 copies printed on rectos only in purple ink typed by the poet Robert Creeley and printed by Marthe Rexroth at S.F State, where she was a secretary, for the famous Six Gallery reading (also known as Six Angels in the Same Performance). This event, which took place at 3110 Fillmore Street in San Francisco on October 7, 1955 was the first important public poetry exhibition heralding the West Coast literary revolution of the Beat Generation. At the reading, five talented young poets—Allen…
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 40140
Paris: Mercure de France, 1913.
First edition of Apollinaire's first collection of poems, signed by him and Pablo Picasso. Octavo, bound in three quarter morocco with gilt titles and raised bands to the spine, patterned endpapers, frontispiece portrait of the poet by Pablo Picasso. Association copy, inscribed by both Apollinaire and Pablo Picasso on front free endpaper, "A A P.N. Roinard son admirateur Guillaume Apollinaire" and "et pour Robert Valançay Picasso Paris Janvier 1940 et I." Apollinaire has also made five corrections to the text in ink on pages 71, 77, 92, 110 and 189. The recipient of Apollinaire's inscription, Paul-Napoléon Roinard, was a French…
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 128083
Rare First Edition of Leonard Cohen's First Book, One of 400 copies Let Us Compare Mythologies; Warmly Inscribed by Him
Montreal: McGill Poetry Series by Contact Press, 1956.
First edition of Cohen's first book, which explores philosophy, sexuality, death, a world of violent contrasts that would define his future literary and musical careers. Octavo, original cloth. With five full-page line illustrations by Freda Guttman. Presentation copy, warmly inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For my friend Jo, Leonard January 1957.” Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. An excellent example of this rare first book, which reportedly, fewer than 400 copies of the first edition were printed (Nadel, 45).
Price: $30,000.00 Item Number: 107435
"Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor": First appearance in print of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven; In the Rare Original Wrappers
The Raven. [In The American Review: A Whig Journal of Politics, Literature, Art and Science. No. II February, 1845.
New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845.
First appearance in print of The Raven, one of the most famous and recognizable poems ever written, which Poe considered his finest poem, calling it “the greatest poem that was ever written.” Octavo, original wrappers. In keeping with the policy of The American Review which required that poems be published anonymously or with a pseudonym, the poem, which appears on page 143 is credited to 'Quarles.' In very good condition. Rare in the original wrappers.
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 136274
Rare First Edition of Leonard Cohen's First Book, One of 400 copies Let Us Compare Mythologies; Inscribed by Him in the year of publication
Montreal: McGill Poetry Series by Contact Press, 1956.
First edition of Cohen's first book, which explores philosophy, sexuality, death, a world of violent contrasts that would define his future literary and musical careers. Octavo, original cloth. With five full-page line illustrations by Freda Guttman. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author in the month of publication on the front free endpaper, "To Gery Levy, With best wishes Leonard Cohen May 1956." Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some expert restoration to the spine. An excellent example of this rare first book, which reportedly, fewer than 400 copies of the first edition were printed (Nadel, 45). Housed…
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 128744
"I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, And in short, I was afraid": Rare First Edition of T.S. Eliot's Prufrock and Other Observations; One of only 500 Examples
London: The Egoist Ltd, 1917.
First edition of one of the most recognized voices in modern literature of the Nobel Prize-winning author's first book, one of only 500 examples. Octavo, original wrappers. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. Rare and desirable.
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 133599
“It’s a Snark! was the sound that first came to their ears, And seemed almost too good to be true": Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark; in the scarce original dust jacket, of which only a few are known to exist
London: Macmillan and Co., 1876.
First edition of Carroll's whimsical nonsense poem. Octavo, original publisher's decorated cloth, all edges gilt, with nine illustrations by Henry Holiday. Near fine in the scarce original dust jacket. The jacket is complete with the top third of the front panel bent behind, hence the different shade of color. Copies of the first edition of Hunting of the Snark in the dust jacket of the utmost scarcity, with no more than a handful of copies known.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 130492
“I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd": First Edition of The Howl and Other Poems; Inscribed by Allen Ginsberg to fellow poet José García Villa
San Francisco: City Lights, 1959.
First edition of this principal work of the Beat Generation. Small octavo, original wrappers as issued. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the title page to fellow poet, writer and artist José García Villa, "416 E 34 St Paterson Allen Ginsberg to Jose G Villa after years." The recipient José García Villa was born in Manila in 1908, before moving to New Mexico to pursue his studies, and ultimately to Greenwich Village in New York City. There, he joined a community of modernist poets, including e.e. cummings, Marianne Moore, W.H. Auden, among others, and was affectionately known as "The…
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 128745
"The passion spreads in wide tongues, choked and slow, meeting the gulf, hosanna silently below": First edition of Hart Crane's landmark modernist epic the bridge; inscribed by him to close friend Bob Thompson
New York: Horace Liveright, 1930.
First American edition of Crane's landmark modernist epic. Octavo, original blue cloth with gilt titles to the spine and front panel, illustrated with three photographs by Walter Evans. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper one month after publication, "For Bob Thompson, from his friend always- Hart Crane, Brooklyn, April 30." The recipient, Robert Thompson, was a close friend of Crane's. During the early part of 1930, Thompson and Crane spent what John Unterecker described as "wild evenings" in New York. Thompson was "a good drinking companion whom Hart in the summer would recommend to Caresse…
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 123618
"I hope that this book ain't so silly and that it will always remain in the cas[s]a": First Edition of Where the Sidewalk Ends, Signed by Shel Silverstein; Inscribed to the Children of His Editor
New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1974.
First edition of the author's first collection of children's poetry. Stated first edition on the copyright page. Small quarto, original brown cloth, illustrated. Association copy, inscribed by Shel Silverstein with an original poem on the front free endpapers to the children of his editor and publicist William Cole, "For Alex and Rossa and Billy, I hope that this book ain't so silly and that it will always remain in the cas[s]a (The superfluous 's' has been scribbled out with footnote "Bill Cole's Incessant Editorial Meddling") of Billy and Alex Rossa (Not a bad rhyme for three such difficult names and…
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 91344
"When you come to observe faithfully the changes of each humblest plant, you find that each has sooner or later its peculiar autumnal tint, or tints": The Manuscript Edition of The Writings of Henry David Thoreau; In the Original Binding
Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1906.
The manuscript edition of the writings of Henry David Thoreau. With the original manuscript sheet by Thoreau from his journal tipped-in to volume 1. The two page manuscript fragment comprises 58 lines from "Autumnal Tints," in altered form, published in the Atlantic Monthly, October 1862, and collected in Excursions the following year. The fragment concludes with the line containing the title phrase: "When you come to observe faithfully the changes of each humblest plant, you find that each has sooner or later its peculiar autumnal tint, or tints [...]." Octavo, 20 volumes. Bound in the publisher's three-quarter green morocco over…
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 97590
"To the few who love me and whom I love – to those who seek rather than to those who think – to the dreamers and those who put faith in dreams as in the only realities – I offer this book of truths" : Rare first edition of Edgar Allan Poe's Magnum Opus, Eureka, One of only 500 copies
New York: George P. Putnam, 1848.
First edition, first issue of Poe's classic work. Duodecimo, original publishers blind stamped black cloth with gilt lettering to the spine. First issue, without the review for Eureka on page 2 of the 16 page catalogue at the end of the book, but reads simply: “Poe. — Eureka, A Prose Poem: Or the Physical and Metaphysical Universe. By Edgar A. Poe, Esq.” In very good condition, with some light rubbing to the extremities, contemporary inscription to the front free endpaper. Housed in a custom clamshell box. An exceptional example of this rare and important text.
Price: $17,500.00 Item Number: 37022
Rare First Edition of Leonard Cohen's First Book, One of 400 copies Let Us Compare Mythologies; Signed by Him in the year of publication
Montreal: McGill Poetry Series by Contact Press, 1956.
First edition of Cohen's first book, which explores philosophy, sexuality, death, a world of violent contrasts that would define his future literary and musical careers. Octavo, original cloth. With five full-page line illustrations by Freda Guttman. Signed by the author in the month of publication on the front free endpaper, “Leonard Cohen May 1956.” Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Uncommon, as reportedly fewer than 400 copies of the first edition were printed (Nadel, 45).
Price: $16,500.00 Item Number: 140463
"but like the bard who freely sings in strictest bonds of rhyme and rule and finds in them not bonds but wings": The Problem of Pain; signed and inscribed by C.S. Lewis with a quotation from Coventry Patmore's poem The Angel in the House
London: The Centenary Pres, 1941.
Early printing of Lewis's classic discussion of the nature of good and evil; inscribed by him with a quotation from Coventry Patmore's poem The Angel in the House which had a profound influence on the development of Lewis's Christian beliefs. Octavo, original publisher's cloth. Signed by C.S. Lewis with a quotation from Coventry Patmore's poem The Angel in the House, "They live by law, not like the fool, But like the bard who freely sings in strictest bonds of rhyme and rule and finds in them not bonds but wings - Patmore C.S. Lewis April 1944." First published in 1854,…
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 143183
Fare First Edition of Dylan Thomas' First Book Eighteen Poems; Lengthily Inscribed by Him to literary editor and close friend Desmond Hawkins
London: Sunday Referee and the Parton Press, 1936.
First edition, first issue of Thomas' first book, one of 250 copies. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author to Desmond Hawkins, who was Dylan's literary editor and close friend, with a playful (and perhaps drunken) inscription which attempts to conflate their names, maybe in an effort to create a new single persona out of the two of them: "To and from Hawkins Dylan Desmond Thomas Dylan Desmond Dylan Desmond Hawkins Thomas Dylan Desmond." He has also included a more conventional inscription, signed "Dylan Thomas 24th May 1936." Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some…
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 111544
“Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light": First Edition of Dylan Thomas' In Country Sleep; Signed by Him
New York: New Directions, 1952.
First edition of this collection of poems, including the first book appearance of "Do not go gentle into that good night." Octavo, original cloth. Signed and dated by the author in the year of publication on the front free endpaper, "Dylan Thomas 1952." Fine in a very good dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable signed as Thomas passed away one year after the publication.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 106778
"Alas! the love of women! it is known To be a lovely and a fearful thing": Rare complete first edition set of Lord Byron's Don Juan; from the library of Erica Jong
London: Thomas Davison [i.e., John Murray], 1819-1821 (Cantos I-V, Volumes I-II)/John Hunt, 1823-24 (Cantos VI-XVI, Volumes III-VI).
Scarce complete first edition set of Byron's great work which was widely criticized as immoral upon publication and is now considered one of the greatest poems of the Romantics; from the library of American writer Erica Jong. Volume one was produced in quarto format and the subsequent 5 volumes in octavo (Davison abandoned the quarto format after disappointing sales of the first volume), six volumes uniformly bound in full morocco with gilt titles and tooling to the spine, double gilt ruling to the front and rear panels, gilt inner dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With an autograph letter signed…
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 142573
New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1940.
First edition of Lorca’s masterpiece. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by fellow poet Leonard Cohen on the front free endpaper. Cohen was deeply influenced by the work of Lorca for the duration of his poetic and musical career. "Now, you know of my deep association and confraternity with the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. I could say that when I was a young man, an adolescent, and I hungered for a voice, I studied the English poets and I knew their work well, and I copied their styles, but I could not find a voice. It was only when I read, even…
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 110825
"O come, then, quickly come! We are budding, we are blowing; And the wind that we perfume Sings a tune that's worth the knowing": First Edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's poems; Inscribed by Him
Boston: James Munroe & Co, 1847.
First edition with four pages of publisher's ads dated January 1, 1847 bound before the title of this collection of poems. Octavo, bound in publisher's boards covered in coated ivory-colored paper, with publisher's label on spine. Inscribed by the author in the year of publication, "Elizabeth Burgess with the best wishes of R.W.E. 1 Jan. 1847." In very good condition with some wear to the binding. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable signed and inscribed by Emerson in the year of publication.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 70005