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know but little. We know that he
reached London, for he sent a postcard SHOPPING IN LONDON
to his mother from there saying that he "HE first big adventure in William had arrived “safe and sound". We
Bodney's life was a trip up to know that he left London, because he London to buy shoes. The shoes died fifteen years later in Suffix. which he had been wearing in Suffix, What happened in between we can only we learn from the Town Clerk's record, conjecture at, but we may be sure that were "good enough", but "good he was very sensitive to whatever enough” was never a thing to satisfy beauty there may have been in London William Bodney. The fashion at the at that time. In the sonnet On Looking time was to wear shoes only to parties Into a Stereoscope for the First Time, and coronations, but Bodney was never written when he had grown into full one to stick to the fashion.
manhood, we find reference to this visit So bright and early on the morning to the city: of April 9, 1855, the young man set out
And, with its regicidal note in tune, for the city, full of the vigor of living.
Brings succor to the waiting stream. Did he go by coach or by foot? We do not know. On the coach records of If this isn't a reference to the London April 9, there is a passenger listed as trip, what is it a reference to? “Enoch Reese”, but this was probably not William Bodney. There is no reason why he should have traveled under the name of “Enoch Reese”. But whether he went by coach or over
PROGRESS AND REGRESS the road, we do know that he must have passed through Weeming-on-Downs, as TE have seen Bodney standing on there was no way of getting to London the threshold of the Great Expefrom Suffix without passing through rience. How did he meet it? Very Weeming-on-Downs. And as Bodney well indeed. went through this little town, probably For the first time we find him defibright in the sunlight of the early April nitely determined to create. “I am morning, is it not possible that he definitely determined to create”, he stopped at the pump in the square to wrote to the Tax Collector of Suffix wet his wrists against the long, hot (Author's Collection). And with the journey ahead? It is not only possible. spring of 1860 came, in succession, To It is more than likely. And, stopping Some Ladies Who Have Been Very Nice at the pump, did he know that in the To Me, Ode to Hester, Rumpty: A third house on the left as you leave the Fragment, and To Arthur Hosstetter pump London-wards, was Mary Was- MacMonigal. Later in the same year sermann? Or, did Mary Wassermann came I wonder when, if I should go, know that Bodney was just outside her there'd be. door? The speculation is futile, for It is in I wonder when, if I should go, Mary Wassermann moved from Weem- there'd be that Bodney for the first time ing-on-Downs the next week and was strikes the intimate note. never heard from again. But I antici
I sometimes think that open fires are best, pate.
Before drab autumn swings its postern Of Bodney's stay in London we
shut. . .
W kod oclock or a quarter
"Open fires" is a delightful thought, work is spondaic. But I guess there just carrying with it the picture of a large spondee falls away of its own accord and
comes a time in everyone's life when the house, situated on a hill with poplars, the trochee takes its place. It is Nature's the sun sinking charmingly behind the way. Ah, Nature! How I love Nature! I
love the birds and the flowers and Beauty of town in the distance and, inside, the
all kinds. I don't see how anyone can hate big hall, hung with banners, red and Beauty, it is so beautiful. ... Well, there gold, and a long table ladened with goes the bell, so I must close now and employ
a spondee. rich food, nuts, raisins, salt (plenty of salt, for Bodney was a great hand to put Seven days later Bodney met Lillian salt on his food and undoubtedly had Walf. salt in mind), and over all the presence of the king and his knights, tall, vigor
VII ous blond knights swearing allegiance
FINIS ORIGINE PENDET to their lord. Or perhaps in the phrase Bodney had in mind, a small room with
E do not know whether it was at nobody in it. Who can tell? At any
four o'clock or a quarter past rate, we have the words “open fires"
four on October 17, 1874, that Henry and we are able to reconstruct what
Ryan said to Bodney: “Bodney, I went on in the poet's mind if we have a
want that you should meet my friend liking for that sort of thing. And, al
Miss Walf. ... Miss Walf, Mr. Bodthough he does not say so in so many
ney." The British War Office has no words, there is little doubt but that in
record of the exact hour and Mr. Ryan using "fires” in conjunction with the
was blotto at the time and so does not word “open” he meant Lillian Walf
remember. However, it was in or and what was to come later.
around four o'clock.
Lillian Walf was three years older than Bodney, but had the mind of a
child of eight. This she retained all her VI
life. Commentators have referred to MIRAGE
her as feeble minded, but she was not
feeble minded. Her mind was vigorROM I wonder when, if I should go,
ous. there'd be to On Meeting Roger H.
It was the mind of a vigorous Claflin for the Second Time is a far cry
child of eight. The fact that she was and a merry one.
actually in her thirties has no bearing On Meeting Roger
on the question that I can see. H. Claflin for the Second Time is hepta
ing to Remsen three years after her syllabic and, not only that, but trochaic.
marriage to Bodney, Lillian says: Here, after years of suffering and disillusion, after discovering false friends
We have a canary which sings something and vain loves, we find Bodney resort
terrible all day. I think I'll shoot it
Tuesday. ing to the trochee. His letter to his sister at the time shows the state of
If that is the product of a feeble mind the young poet was in (Rast mind, then who of us can lay claim to a Collection):
sound mentality? Somehow today I feel that things are clos
The wedding of Bodney to Lillian ing in on me. Life is closing in on me. I Walf took place quietly except for the have a good mind to employ the trochee and
banging of the church radiator. The see what that will do. I have no fault to find with the spondee. Some of my best parson, Rev. Dr. Padderson, estimated
that the temperature of the room was Looking into William Ewart Gladstone) about 78° at the time, too hot for com- beginning: fort. However, the young couple were
O Lesbos! When thy fêted songs shall soon on their way to Bayswater where
ring they settled down and lived a most uneventful life from then on. Bodney is too well known to quote here in full, must have been quite happy in his new but we cannot help calling attention to existence, for he gave up writing poetry the reference to Bayswater. For it was and took to collecting pewter. We in Bayswater that Bodney really behave no record of his ever writing any- longed and it was there that he died in thing after his marriage, except a son- 1876. His funeral was a Masonic one net for the yearbook of the Bayswater and lasted three hours and twenty School for Girls. This sonnet (On minutes (Author's Collection).
PARIS FOR YOUNG ART
By Robert Forrest Wilson
YLVIA BEACH'S bookshop is in get and not for the select few who
matter. The young intellectuals themright hand side, about halfway between selves seldom appear at the Dôme. the Boulevard St.-Germain and the They revolve around the bookshop in Théâtre de l'Odéon. It is a bookish the Rue de l'Odéon. It is their headneighborhood. French bookstores are quarters and the place where one must numerous in that part of the old Latin go, if one is a stranger, to get in touch Quarter, two or three of the leading with them. French book publishers have their Miss Beach herself is a comely young head offices in that vicinity, and the woman with poise, a quiet and attracbookstalls under the arcades of the old tive manner, a businesslike bobbed theatre are as celebrated as those on head, and a frequent cigarette. And the quays of the Seine themselves. of course she is intellectual. Long ago
Her business self Sylvia Beach she despaired — or so she strikes one chooses to call “Shakespeare and of getting the message across to the Company", and a portrait of the bald less understanding, and thus arrived at bard appears on the shop sign hanging a forbearing but unhoping and somein front of No. 12, Rue de l'Odéon. what weary tolerance of the Philistine. It says something for her own person- It is an inviting establishment she ality that she has never succeeded in runs. On chilly days there is an open giving her trade name much currency.
fire before which one can sit in a comPeople in Paris know the place as fortable chair and toast his shins while “Sylvia Beach's Bookshop". The examining books for purchase or boryoung intellectuals, who have the fam- rowing. The shop has a book renting ily spirit and call each other by their department as well as new-book shelves. first names anyhow, shorten it still Pinned up over and around the firefurther to "Sylvia's Bookshop". place are numerous photographs of
It happens that this bookshop dis- intellectuals young and old autoputes with a Parisian café the honor of graphed to Sylvia, and on the round being the chief focus of American cul- table are piled for sale current copies of ture in France, if not in Europe. The such New York and London reviews as café is the Café du Dôme at the corner the truly literate regard as significant. of the Boulevard Montparnasse and But affording a sanctuary for young the Boulevard Raspail. The Dome is intellectuals, renting books, and selling primarily an artists' rendezvous — it books and magazines are not the only is the American centre of the new business activities of Shakespeare and Latin Quarter — but a good many Company. They are publishers, and writing people gather there too. They mighty well known publishers. Their however, are not intellectuals. They fame is considerable in France, and write for as much money as they can even wider in England and the United