Back to Book reviews main page






Poetry Review is the magazine of the Poetry Society, founded in 1912 shortly after the Society was formed.


James Farrar, an RAF navigator killed in action in July 1944, first came to the attention of HW when John Middleton Murry, the editor of The Adelphi, began printing in the magazine some of his work, which had been sent to him by the dead airman's mother, Margaret Farrar. 'Hayfield', the first piece, appeared in the April–June 1946 issue, and others followed. Farrar was much influenced by HW's writings, and in turn the extraordinary quality of Farrar's writing caught HW's attention. From what he read in the subsequent package of material that Farrar's mother sent him, he realised just how much this young man had revered him. Apart from recognising in this young genius an echo of his younger self, he also recognised that the world had lost someone who promised to be a great writer for the future. He determined to bring this work to the attention of the reading public.


HW was solely instrumental in bringing about the publication of Farrar's collected poems and essays, which were published as The Unreturning Spring by Willams & Norgate in 1950. Determined that Farrar's work should be remembered, HW also arranged for a second edition to be published by Chatto & Windus in 1968.


Apart from the work involved with the actual book, HW also over the years took other opportunities to further Farrar's work, including this piece in the April–June 1959 issue of Poetry Review. (For further information regarding HW and Farrar, see The Unreturning Spring.)



FARRAR, James: The Unreturning Spring (Williams & Norgate, 1950)




April–June 1959


reviews farrar1


reviews farrar2


reviews farrar3


reviews farrar4







Back to Book reviews main page