Autograph Manuscript and Typescript Leaves: 'Unpublished Poems'

Scope and Content

Comprises:

  • A. Revised autograph manuscript in pencil and ink. 'Serious' poems are at the front of the volume; nonsense poems at the back. Some typescript and manuscript leaves pasted in. Includes drawing of Mervyn Peake's mother on her deathbed and related poem (1939). Includes a later note [in Sebastian Peake's hand?] to obtain copies of poems from Rob Maslen [editor of Peake's Collected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet, 2008)]. In his introduction to Collected Poems, Maslen suggests that Peake probably stopped using the notebook in 1939.
  • B. Typescript copies of poems (from manuscript mentioned in part A and the 'red book' Add MS 88931/2/3): some fair copies; some with editorial corrections. Multiple versions of many. Includes loose leaf with autograph draft of poem 'Heaven hires me...' and typewritten copies of the same in which the first line is mistakenly transcribed as 'Heaven lures me...'.

Poems in part A:

  • 'The World';
  • 'The lilac light of English evening now';
  • 'The women of the world inhabit her';
  • 'Oh heart-beats - you are rattling dice';
  • 'Sensitive head. And mouth';
  • 'The sands were frosty when the soul appeared';
  • 'I could sit here an age-long of green light';
  • 'Dreams';
  • 'Where got I these two eyes that plunder storm';
  • 'I, like an insect on the stained glass';
  • 'Swung through dead aeons, naked to the void';
  • 'Autumn';
  • 'Eagle';
  • 'The sap of sorrow mounts this rootless tree';
  • 'Moon';
  • ‘No creed shall bind me to a sapless bole’;
  • ‘As over the embankment of the Thames’;
  • ‘Blake’;
  • ‘Fame is my tawdry goal, and I despise’;
  • ‘I am almost drunken with an arrogant’;
  • ‘In crazy balance at the edge of time’;
  • ‘The Eclipse’;
  • ‘She lies in candlelight upon’;
  • ‘The Torch’;
  • ‘Stand with me’;
  • ‘I sing a hatred of the black machine’;
  • ‘There is an universal whore at large’;
  • ‘El Greco’;
  • ‘Lit, every stage of all the trillion’;
  • ‘She does not know, but as she turns’;
  • ‘Life beat another rhythm on that island’;
  • ‘When God had pared his fingernails’;
  • ‘Oh sprightly and lightly the spring cometh nightly’;
  • ‘What is that against the sky’;
  • ‘Oh I must end this war within my heart’;
  • ‘Beauty, what are you’;
  • ‘I will carve for you a song’ [fragment];
  • ‘Mané Katz’;
  • ‘We are the haunted people’;
  • ‘The Modelles’;
  • ‘I found myself walking’;
  • ‘Along with everything else, when the hovering war’ [crossed through];
  • ‘Am I to say goodbye to trees and leaves’;
  • ‘Why have you stopped my heart with love’;
  • ‘To all things solid as to all things flat’;
  • ‘In this, the still absorbtion, burns the angel’ [fragment];
  • ‘For all your deadly implications I cannot restrain my delight’;
  • ‘Simple, seldom and [?]swart’ [early version of ‘Simple, seldom and sad’];
  • ‘She whose body was in pain’;
  • ‘Oh she has walked all lands there are’;
  • ‘Now are gathering in the skies’;
  • an early version of ‘You before me’;
  • ‘A frothy and frivolous cake there was’ [early version of ‘The Frivolous Cake’];
  • ‘Ancient Root O Ancient Root’;
  • ‘A fair amount of doziness’;
  • ‘Thank God for tadpoles!’;
  • ‘About my ebb and flow-ziness’;
  • loose leaf of revised typescript: ‘Love’s House’;

Poems in part B:

  • ‘I sing a hatred of the black machine’;
  • ‘Lit, every stage of all the trillion’;
  • ‘The Torch’;
  • ‘Spring’;
  • ‘Watch Here and Now’;
  • ‘Onetime my notes would dance to any theme’;
  • ‘Sing I the Fickle, Fit-For-Nothing Fellows’;
  • ‘Overture’;
  • ‘The lit mosaic of the wood’;
  • ‘The meeting at dawn’;
  • ‘Coloured Money’;
  • ‘The Metal Bird’;
  • ‘The Crystal’;
  • ‘The Two Fraternities’;
  • ‘I, While the God’s Laugh, The World’s Vortex Am’;
  • ‘Than Paper and a Pen’;
  • ‘No creed shall bind me to a sapless bole’;
  • ‘Out of The Chaos of my Doubt’;
  • ‘In crazy balance at the edge of time’;
  • ‘Leave Train’;
  • ‘Satan’;
  • ‘Stand with me’;
  • ‘Poem: Swallow the sky: chew up the stars’;
  • ‘El Greco’;
  • ‘Victoria Station. 6.58p.m.’;
  • ‘Crisis’;
  • ‘Course as the sun is blatant, the high spinach-';
  • ‘The Eclipse’;
  • ‘Are we not the richer?’;
  • ‘The world is broken without love’;
  • ‘Suddenly, walking along the open road I felt afraid’;
  • ‘Beauty, what are you’;
  • ‘Oh I must end this war within my heart’;
  • ‘The Modelles’;
  • ‘The World’;
  • ‘Who Can Find?’;
  • ‘At such an hour as this, the night being silent’;
  • ‘Oh she has walked all lands there are’;
  • ‘To the Illegitimate of War’;
  • ‘Blue as the indigo and fabulous storm’;
  • ‘I cross the narrow bridges to her love’;
  • ‘The Three’;
  • ‘Maeve’;
  • ‘She lies in candlelight upon’;
  • ‘Love So Imperilled Is’;
  • ‘My malady is this’;
  • ‘For God’s sake draw the blind and shut away’;
  • ‘Staring in madness’;
  • ‘Oh heart-beats, you are rattling dice-';
  • ‘The women of the world inhabit her-';
  • ‘The sap of sorrow mounts this rootless tree’;
  • ‘Though I do squander a largesse’;
  • ‘Moon’;
  • ‘Dreams’;
  • ‘Sprang from the parent heart, his crimson star?’;
  • ‘Swung through dead aeons, naked to the void,’;
  • ‘As over the embankment of the Thames’;
  • ‘A Pressage [Presage] of Death’;
  • ‘Often, in the evenings, when I am alone, I think of death, and a terror comes over me;';
  • 'Heaven hires me, and my payment is in those';
  • ‘Where I got these two eyes that plunder storm’;
  • ‘Sensitive head. And mouth’;
  • ‘I could sit here an age-long of green light’;
  • ‘Fame is my tawdry goal, and I despise’;
  • ‘I am almost drunken with an arrogant’;
  • ‘Life beat another rhythm on that island’;
  • ‘How fly the birds of heaven save by their wings?’.

Conditions Governing Access

Unrestricted

Not Public Record(s)

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Foliation: ff.iii+188.

Bibliography

Most of these poems have been published in Mervyn Peake, Collected Poems, ed by R W Maslen (Manchester: Carcanet, 2008). See Maslen's introduction and note on the text for further discussion of this material.