Gerald Bullett produces an A competition that is not too dissimilar from Squire’s request in the previous week: another Ode, although this one involves translation. The model is Sainte-Beuve, whose poem is the source of the subject, ‘Ode To Rhyme’. You can read the original here. As almost always, T.E. Casson is the first to be commended (perhaps he had started by now to wonder if it would take a year for his turn to come round again). Marion Peacock and Guy Innes come close, but it is the old warhorse, Seacape, who snaffles the top prize, and, as I’ve remarked before, when he wins, it’s often the case that Pibwob is in the frame as well. He gets the runner-up’s half-guinea. Seacape is always praised for his elegance. See what you think.
These two poems very clearly illustrate the traditionalism of the judges, and, I suspect, many of the readers.
The B competition asks – yet again – for epigrams. There had been some rumblings against the League of Nations, especially in the Daily Express (Beaverbrook still pushing his Empire Crusade). The first two winners (who split their guinea) are Mariamne and Prudence (her first win at last), but the third name is that of (Edward) Jerrard Tickell, who gains the second prize. Tickell (1905-1966), who was Irish, was to become a highly successful novelist and writer, and to have two particular successes with his memoir of Odette, the special agent, and with a novel in 1951 called Appointment With Venus, which was turned into a film starring David Niven. His wife was a well-known spiritualist, Renee Haynes. There is a good bibliography of his work here.
Here are the three squibs: