D.H. Lawrence’s War Poems to Be Published, Dirty Words and All

Various unprintable words kept the unexpurgated “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” D.H. Lawrence’s classic 1928 novel of sexual congress across class lines, off bookshelves for more than three decades. But who knew that words like “Salonika” and “Mesopotamia” would keep some of Lawrence’s poetry out of print until 2013?

The offending words occur in “All of Us,” a sequence of 31 World War I poems that appear in their entirety for the first time in a new two-volume critical edition of Lawrence’s verse, to be published in the United States on April 30. The set — the capstone of Cambridge University Press’s gargantuan 40-volume edition of Lawrence’s works and letters — includes some 860 poems, including many that have previously been available only in censored versions.

Virtually all of Lawrence’s books of poetry had suffered some kind of censorship, often compounded by sloppy editing, Christopher Pollnitz, the volume’s editor, said in a statement. In the case of “All of Us,” written in 1916, some parts of the cycle were printed a few years later, but only after publishers wary of associating themselves with Lawrence’s fierce critiques of British imperialism had removed various place names and other features

D.H. Lawrence’s War Poems to Be Published (NYT Arts Beat)

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