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May 27, 2015 12:00 PM - June 7, 2015 04:00 PMCalender

Cummings, Edward Estlin (1894-1962) Signed Unpublished Manuscript Poem within a Ship's Guest Book, 24 August 1916.

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Auction: Books & Manuscripts - 2819TLocation: BostonDate / Time: May 27, 2015 12:00PM


Cummings, Edward Estlin (1894-1962) Signed Unpublished Manuscript Poem within a Ship's Guest Book, 24 August 1916.
Guest book owned by Dr. James Sibley Watson Jr. (1894-1982) and his wife Hildegarde Lassell Watson (1888-1976),was used onboard the yachts, "Algonquin," "Lasca," and "Genesee" and signed by hundreds passengers, some of whom wrote notes, poems, made sketches and small paintings, with other inserted ephemera relevant to the perambulations of the crafts; the Cummings poem seems to have been written on the occasion of Harvard classmate Sibley Watson's engagement to Hildegarde Lassell; some pages loose, many items inserted, Cummings's poem is signed on the recto side of the leaf with a small drawing of an elephant sprinting in the direction of a pointed sign marked, "Matrimony," poem on the verso; 9 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.
[Together with] a photo album from the same period depicting journeys of the "Genesee," disbound, containing sixty-three small-format black-and-white photographs pasted onto black album pages, mostly titled in white, including shots taken on land and at sea during a cruise around Sweden during the summer of 1914.

To sing of Sib
I set my jib:
O lovely Genesee!
Brace thyself now
For thou must bow
To stern necessity.

Since that dread day
Whereof my lay
The outcome must transcribe,
He has (alack)
Suffered attack,
Or more (perhaps) a jibe.

From coast to coast
Whereas they'd boast
How many a field he'd fought
By hook or crook
He has been took
In tow-O tender thought!

Still was the en-
gine, still the mew
The Captain, and the rig-
ging; not a rum-
or from the boom,
nor giggle from the gig.

But from the sea
There seemed to me
To rise a kind of chant:
"He used to spec-
ulate on deck;
But now he haunts Nahant."
Estimate $3,000-4,000

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Edward Estlin, Genesee, Hildegarde Lassell, Hildegarde Lassell Watson, James Sibley Watson Jr., Sibley Watson