Competitions nos 57A and 57B: results

Ivor Brown asks for a sonnet which opens

       I fain would be a poet but I lack
       A private income …

More miserabilia from the judges. ‘The number of sonnets (and also of poems that were not sonnets) was very large and the quality rather “sad”, as they say of baked dishes.’ Heavy plodding is mentioned. Alice Herbert, H.C.M and Non Omnia are among a small band who receive compliments, but the winners are the stalwarts Valimus and Gertrude Pitt. (He was asking for it with the word ‘fain’, in my view.) Valimus sends the competition up more than a little, and that’s welcome.

WR Comp 57

For 57B we are directed to Longfellow:

                  Lives of great men all remind us
                     We can make our lives sublime
                 And departing, leave behind us
                    Footprints on the sans of time

The extract (and isn’t it banal?) comes from ‘The Psalm of Life’. Brown suggests that modern biographies tend to reveal that the lives of great men are humdrum, and that a ‘quotation’ i.e. a new verse of four lines needs to be added. Several regulars (W. Hodgson Burnett, Little Billee, H.C.M., Majolica, Hutch, are commended but the prizes go to Evan John and Baldwin S. Harvey, neither of whose names have appeared in these columns before.

WR Comp 57b

Baldwin S(ydney) Harvey (1873-1945) was a banker who took over from his father Alfred Spalding Harvey at the bank Glyn, Mills, Currie and co. in 1905, as you can see here. He edited a collection of his father’s financial and economic articles. But he also seems to have published, some time in the 1920s, a children’s book (not in the BL) called The Magic Dragon (although I don’t think he had any children).Harvey


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