Rare Poetry Books & First-Edition Poetry Books for Sale Online
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"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 marbled boards, spine elaborately tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, raised bands, top edge gilt, marbled endpapers. Signed by the publisher. Illustrated in each volume with a photograph of flowers and a hand-colored scenes used as frontispieces and additional plates inserted throughout. In fine condition without wear.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 97590
"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 if you don’t read Spanish, Learn it!) Love, Shel Silverstein.” American editor and anthologist William Rossa Cole edited over 50 anthologies of verse for children and adults throughout his career which included tenures at Knopf, Simon & Schuster and Viking, where he had his own imprint. He is thanked by Silverstein at the end of Where the Sidewalk Ends “for his continued encouragement” and many of Silverstein’s poems made their first appearance at Cole’s solicitation. Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association copy.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 91344
“Do anything, but let it produce joy": RARE SECOND EDITION OF WALT WHITMAN’S LEAVES OF GRASS; ONE OF ONE THOUSAND COPIES
Brooklyn, New York: Fowler and Wells, 1856.
Rare second edition, one of a 1000 copies of the most important volume in American poetry, with an additional twenty poems not found in the first edition as well as a new section of correspondence and reviews entitled “Leaves-droppings” that begins with the famous letter from Emerson containing the salutation “I greet you at the beginning of a great career.” Small octavo, original green cloth. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Walt Whitman. Bookplate of Barrett Wendell to the inside panel. Barrett was an American academic and a trustee of the Boston Athenaeum, a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and he was also elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers. Bookplate of William Whitwell Greenough. Greenough was a Boston merchant and politician, trustee of the Boston Public Library, 1856-1888, President of the Board of Trustees, 1866-1888. In very good condition with some toning to the spine and overall light wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A nice example of this rarity with noted provenance.
Price: $14,000.00 Item Number: 50052
“For you know only a heap of broken images”: Rare First Edition of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land; One of 460 Examples
Richmond: By Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1923.
First edition, first state of one of the most influential works of the 20th century. Octavo, original marbled blue boards; one of about 460 copies hand-printed by the Leonard and Virginia Woolf. In near fine condition with a small piece missing from the spine. An exceptional example, as most examples of this fragile work appear lacking the spine.
Price: $9,800.00 Item Number: 121343
First edition of Walt Whitman's Two Rivulets: Including Democratic Vistas, Centennial Songs, and Passage to India; one of only 100 copies signed and dated by Walt Whitman and with an autograph note signed by him tipped in
Camden, New Jersey: Author's Edition, 1876.
Scarce first edition, first issue with the blank leaf between ‘As a Strong Bird’ and ‘Memoranda’ and single leaf of advertisements for Whitman’s books inserted between the back flyleaves. One of only 100 copies. Octavo, bound in full morocco with gilt titles and elaborate gilt tooling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, triple gilt ruling to the panels, gilt turn-ins and inner dentetlles, gilt top stain, marbled endpapers. With the frontispiece sepia photograph of Whitman signed and dated by him, “Walt Whitman 1881.” From the library of Richard Hoe Lawrence with an autograph note by Whitman tipped in. Addressed to Lawrence and dated March 11, 1881, the note reads, “Dear Sir yours of 10th enclosing #10 received – Walt Whitman.” Richard Hoe Lawrence served as president of the Grolier Club from 1906-1908. He was the great-nephew of Grolier Club co-founder and renowned bibliophile Robert Hoe III. With Lawrence’s bookplates to the pastedown. In near fine condition.
Price: $9,200.00 Item Number: 114654
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 in translation, the works of Lorca that I understood that there was a voice. It is not that I copied his voice; I would not dare. But he gave me permission to find a voice, to locate a voice, that is to locate a self, a self that is not fixed, a self that struggles for its own existence. As I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. What were these instructions? The instructions were never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty” (Leonard Cohen). Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Translated by Rolfe Humphries. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A unique example, most rare and desirable signed by Cohen.
Price: $8,800.00 Item Number: 110825
"All things return, both sphere and mote, and I shall hear my bluebird's note, and dream the dream of Auburn dell": First Edition, first issue of Ralph Waldo Emerson's May-Day and Other Pieces; Signed by him
Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.
First edition, first issue of this collection of Emerson’s later poems. Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles and botanical emblem to the front panel, top edge gilt. Signed by Emerson on the title page, “R.W. Emerson.” In very good condition with rubbing to the crown of the spine and minor chipping to the front free endpaper. Rare and desirable.
Price: $7,200.00 Item Number: 96771
“I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you": First Edition and Signed Limited Edition of The Complete Poems and Prose of Walt Whitman 1855 - 1888; one of 600 copies produced and signed by Walt Whitman
Complete Poems and Prose of Walt Whitman 1855 – 1888. Authenticated & Personal Book (Handled by W.W.)…Portraits from Life…Autograph.
Philadelphia: Ferguson Bros & Co., 1888.
First edition and signed limited edition of Whitman’s self-described “big book essentially the book, irrespective of expensive binding: it has portraits, notes, title page-all the guarantees of my personality: it is as clearly the book as anything could make it.” Octavo, original brown buckram cloth with gilt titles to the spine, top edge gilt, with four engraved portraits of the author, including the engraved title page. Signed by Walt Whitman on the limitation page under the quote from Leaves of Grass and with the publisher’s limitation note in red ink on the copyright page, “Edition: Six Hundred. Number One Hundred Ninety-Nine.” In near fine condition with a touch of rubbing to the extremities. Scarce and desirable.
Price: $6,000.00 Item Number: 101368
First edition of Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Cup and the Falcon; inscribed by him and with seven lines of verse in Tennyson's hand within the text
London: Macmillan and Co, 1884.
First edition of this collection of two Tennyson plays. Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles to the spine. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “Frederick & Jane Locker from Tennyson.” Tennyson has also inscribed seven lines of verse from the original manuscript of The Cup on pages 80 and 81, inserted in the concluding speech of Synorix, “Nay, rather than to clip the flowery robe of Hymen we should add some golden fringe of gorgeousness beyond old use to make the day memorial, when Synorix, first King, Comma, first Queen o’ the snow here the richest lot from fate, to live and to die together.” In fine condition. Bookplates to the pastedown. Housed in a custom morocco and chemise case. Rare and desirable.
Price: $5,500.00 Item Number: 100620
"I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where": First Edition of The Nobel Prize-Winning Poets Classic Work; Signed by Pablo Neruda
London: Rapp & Whiting, 1968.
First edition of Neruda’s classic work. Octavo, original cloth. Boldly signed by Pablo Neruda on the half-title page. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Lawrence Edwards. Translated by Robert Bly and James Wright. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
Price: $5,500.00 Item Number: 109354
"In Loves fair garden-close I wander free, so take your guerdon elsewhere, lovely June": First edition of Joyce Kilmer's Summer of Love; Inscribed by him to fellow poet and critic Thomas Walsh
New York: The Baker & Taylor Company, 1911.
First edition, first issue of Joyce Kilmer’s first book of verse. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to fellow poet and literary critic Thomas Walsh, “To Thomas Walsh, With appreciation of his roast of this book, and the sincere admiration of Joyce Kilmer, June 20, 1913, Brooklyn, NY.” A scholar of Latin American and Spanish literature, Thomas Walsh published four books of poetry and wrote many short articles and reviews, including several for the New York Times. With Walsh’s bookplate to the pastedown. Octavo, original cloth. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise box. A nice association and uncommon signed as Kilmer was killed in World War I.
Price: $2,500.00 Item Number: 92792
Eighteenth century example of Milton's masterpiece, Paradise Lost: A Poem in Twelve Books and Paradise Regain'd. To which is added Samson Agonistes: And Poems upon Several Occasions; Finely Bound
Paradise Lost: A Poem in Twelve Books and Paradise Regain’d. To which is added Samson Agonistes: And Poems upon Several Occasions.
London: Printed for J.F. and C. Rivington et al, 1790.
Eighteenth century example of Milton’s masterpiece, Paradise Lost: A Poem in Twelve Books and Paradise Regain’d. Octavo, 4 volumes bound in full contemporary tree calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine red morocco spine labels, gilt ruled, marbled endpapers, ribbons bound in, all edges speckled brown, engraved frontispiece to two volumes. In near fine condition. A desirable example.
Price: $1,400.00 Item Number: 95361