Walter de la Mare published his first book of poems, SONGS OF CHILDHOOD, in 1902, his last, O LOVELY ENGLAND, in 1953, three years before his death; and his career, spanning more than half a century, was productive to the end. Since five books of new lyrics and a supplementary volume of earlier verse followed the 1941 edition of his COLLECTED POEMS, this collection cannot in any sense be regarded as complete. Rather, it marks an interval stage of revision and regrouping of work which de la Mare wished to preserve and present in its final form. A number of the poems have been slightly altered from their original versions; others have been regrouped by subject matter, and some have been omitted from earlier single volumes. Most of these have been reprinted in a second series, COLLECTED RHYMES AND VERSES (1944). In the light of these changes it seems certain that at the time the poet considered this volume the definitive edition of his most serious work.
“Delamarian” has come to stand for that blending of supernal beauty and the supernatural, nature and mankind tinged delicately with “theotherworlde,” as Henry C. Duffin, friend and critic of the poet, has styled it. POEMS: 1906 opens on this note in “Shadow”:
Even the beauty of the rose doth cast,When its bright, fervid noon is past,
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