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October Sheaf (1951): Published in 1951, Reads Like 1751

George Brandon Saul, October Sheaf (Prairie Press, 1951)


photo credit: yours truly

It’s even wheat colored!

The other Prairie Press book I scored on Box Day (q.v. review of Brief Inheritance, elsewhere this ish) was George Brandon Saul’s October Sheaf, published right around the same time and with the same focus on formal poetry. Saul, however, is not as accomplished a poet as Smythe:

“Out of this echo’s horn
What mountains melt away
Till gods immured before
Time’s night was drained from day
Take starry flight once more!…”
(–”The Horn”)

Now, I wasn’t born in 1951, but I’d be willing to bet the man on the street would saw “immured” was as archaic a term then as it is now, and you’d have to go back to William Wycherly’s time to find grammar as arthritic as those last two lines acceptable. Still, as an artifact of a time, it’s as valuable as any other Prairie Press book, but while I can see myself returning to Smythe for the simple pleasure of reading it again, this one won’t bet getting the same treatment. **

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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