First published in 1948, it was reprinted in Poems in English
(Grove Press, 1963).
Beckett inscribed the copy in our collection to his friend, the American writer Kay
Boyle. However, she sent the book back to him and requested that he accurately
translate the last line of his original French. Beckett then returned the book to
Boyle, striking out his first translation and writing in a new one: "mourning her
who thought she loved me". This version was reprinted in Collected Poems in
English and French (Grove Press, 1977). The publisher notes that this last line
"originally read 'mourning the first and last to love me'..., but was varied in later
editions with an alternative last line 'mourning her who sought to love me'.
The last line has now been finally changed to 'mourning her who thought
she loved me'". Would this final change have occurred if Kay Boyle hadn't
complained? In any case, C. W. Post / Long Island University's
Special Collections owns this initial change, in his own handwriting, which
predates any publication.
Conrad H. Schoeffling
Special Collections Librarian
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