SIR NOEL COWARD - POEM SIGNED - HFSID 252875
Sale Price $1,020.00
NOËL COWARDHe signs the complete transcription of his 1930 epic comedic poem, P&O, which details his voyage from Shanghai to Tilbury on a British P&O Lines cruise ship Typescript signed: "Noël/ Coward" on last page in blue ink, 26½p, 8½x11, separate sheets. Complete transcription of Coward's 1930 epic comedic poem, P&O, which details his voyage from Shanghai to Tilbury on a British P&O Lines cruise ship. The colorful characters in the poem include Mrs. Blake, who organizes shuffleboard matches, Mrs. Frobisher, Mrs. Vining, Mrs. Ashpole, Major Morpeth, Colonel Wintringham, Mrs. Macomber, an 87-year-old passenger who dies in her deck chair and is buried at sea, Mrs. Macgrath, Mrs. Drage and assorted missionaries, business agents and other passengers and crew. The poem was later adapted as Pass the Port, a musical play that included songs by Coward.Begins: "The siren hoots three times its final warning/The first one long, the second two much shorter./The passengers at the rail are suddenly stunned/Staring disconsolately at the Shanghai Bund/As the widening gulf of yellow river water/Between the ship and the shore/Presses it back upon its usual day." In part: "Between Bombay and the Gulf of Aden/An unexpected storm pounced in the night/And, seizing the ship like a ratting terrier,/Shook it and savaged it. The tranquil sea/As though bored by its own monotony/Rose up, and, whipped by the shrieking wind,/Changed into ambulant, grey mountain peaks/Advancing endlessly, and in between/Their walls of grim implacability/Fell sickening valleys streaked with veins of foam." The poem ends, in part: "Delicately, shrewdly, the black-funnelled (sic) liner/Dark hull whitened by the salt sea spray/Picks her way with dignity among her lesser sisters/And steams up to Tilbury through the warm June day./This then is the end. The end of longing,/The realized anticipatory dream,/The lovely moment, still unspoiled and tremulous...The image of homecoming still unmarred/By little disappointments, small delays/And sudden, inexplicable dismays....". The brilliant plays of British playwright, actor, producer, and composer Noël Coward (1899-1973) include Private Lives (1930) and Blithe Spirit (1941). Coward also wrote book musicals, revues, short stories, and a novel. The third (unfinished) volume of his autobiography, Past Conditional, was published posthumously in 1986. In 1943, Coward won a Special Academy Award for In Which We Serve, a WWII movie in which he starred, wrote the script, produced, directed, and composed the musical score. Slightly creased, diagonal crease at lower blank area of signature page. Folds, not at signature. Paper clip stain and impression at upper left blank margin of first page (which is nicked at that area). Faint paper clip impressions at upper left blank margin on succeeding pages. Paper clip stain on verso of last page, which is chipped at upper edge.
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