Saturday, April 4, 2009

To Eva Descending the Stair

This is one of fify copies of "To Eva Descending the Stair" (1974). The body of the piece is housed (loosely) inside a shiny black cover. The artwork is by Ralph Steadman and is signed by him. Also, this copy has a handwrit note by Ted. Given the sloppy nature of the writing, I have always imaged this being at a launch party with liquor flowing and handwriting getting a bit sloppy. If anyone has insight into what exacly this says or who "Keith" could be, I'd love to hear it. The black cover is a little bit dinged up, but the tri-fold poem/artwork inside is pristine.

Notation in pencil from the seller

The top flap opens up and the bottom, down

Back of cover


Anonymous said...


This is a great association copy of this piece...

'Keith' is no doubt Keith Sagar, a friend of Hughes for years and the author of several books (and I think he co-authored one with Hughes)including "The Laughter of Foxes: a study of Ted Hughes" (here's a link)

It sure does look like he signed this while well into his cups. Apart from "To Keith, after his colossallllll....something. I can't read the last word...I was tempted to say "win", but the 'i' is not dotted as the other two are. So...I'm stumped. But it's still a find! --Jim Long

Anonymous said...

Me again,

Maybe "curry"?

Sagar apparently specialized in studying D.H. Lawrence and Hughes--two men of similar sensibilities, but of course Lawrence was no poet by nature.

But it wasn't Hughes he co-authored with. He co-authored the Ted Hughes bibliography with Stephen Tabor.

No, I didn't go for the Bark of the True Yew -- too hard to authenticate.

Laurie said...

Hi Jim~!

My darn job keeps getting in the way of this fun stuff...

Eureka! I kept thinking I *should* know a "Keith" and of course you figured it out. I'm familiar with seeing the Tabor/Sagar names together. (I've not had a chance to follow that link yet...)...but, sitting in my lap is Stephen Tabor's thesis for UCLA that I bought from a dealer in Portland, OR back in 98. It is one of the few things I kept the paperwork on. The thesis is dated May 13,1977 and is: TED HUGHES A Bibliography 1957-1975. It is over 100 pages and in one of those folders where the front and back covers attach themselves and the pages with long metal clips. A quick skim through the 'forward' mentions Sagar.
Anyways, gotta get back to work...look forward to looking into this some more.

About CURRY. It was one of the things I considered. That might be it. I NEVER would have gotten Colossal...Mille Grazie for that!! and your other help!

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

Seems like Keith Sagar to me. His letters to TH go 'way back, and TH seems to have considered him a friend. TH also was keen on curry; he writes in Collected Letters about his cousin Vicky Farrar cooking a curry blowout at Court Green one time.

Laurie said...

Oh thank you for the 'curry' insight. It seemed like that had to be what that word was, but it seemed sort of odd. Now I have the context thanks to you!