This text comprises two collections of Ivor Gurney's poetry. "Best Poems" consists of fair copies of 64 poems. "The Book of Five Makings" is more of a working draft, with recastings of the same poems, revealing the process by which he brought his work to completion. This text contains 52 poems and eight revised versions. Of the 116 poems in these volumes, only 25 are previously collected. Gurney's career began with two small volumes of verse, "Severn and Somme" and "War's Ember's". Then in 1922 he entered an asylum from which only an occasional poem in a magazine emerged, but he did not stop writing. Gurney put volumes of his work together, as John Clare did a century earlier, without hope of publication. The various titles he had in mind, such as "Rewards of Wonder" state his poetic position and represent his own viewpoint.
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