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|Arnold Bax set to music only four of his own poems: two of them with authorship attributed to his nom-de-plume, Dermot O’Byrne. I recall asking the Scots Gaelic poet Sorley Maclean, “Who is a Gael?” He replied: “One who has the language, the Gaelic.” Now that this ancient language’s survival is threatened, the point is all the more clamant. That authoritative view (from the acknowledged doyen Gaelic poet of recent history) deserves consideration. It is facile to ridicule Bax’s alter ego of Dermot O’Byrne, but Bax had the Irish Gaelic language. The volume under review reproduces the MS of his translation of Synge’s play, The Shadow of the Glen, into Bax’s Irish Gaelic. Synge did not write in Gaelic. Neither did Yeats. Bax did. He justified his nom de plume, Dermot O’Byrne.|
|—Ronald Stevenson, International Piano Quarterly|
|…collected and published by loving hands … written by a phenomenally gifted musician (Bax’s) literary gifts were not insignificant … of appeal to devotees … the editorial notes are useful…|
|—Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review|
September 2001 saw the publication of the collected poems of Dermot O’Byrne (Sir Arnold Bax’s literary pseudonym) in the form of a substantial volume entitled IDEALA. This fascinating book, containing poems, love letters, music and other writings by those who knew him intimately, is edited and introduced by Bax’s first biographer, Colin Scott-Sutherland (Arnold Bax, Dent, 1973).
This sumptuous book contains 320 pages with nearly 90 illustrations, including an edition of The Princess’s Rose Garden, and is hard-bound and gold-blocked. Reviews have been numerous and very positive; the quotations shown at the head of this page are chosen at random, so click the Reload button to see others.
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Love Letters and Poems of Arnold Bax
Edited by Colin Scott-Sutherland
|3||Poems in Red Notebook|
|4||First (typed) Collection|
|5||Letters to Isobel Hodgson|
|6||‘Seafoam and Firelight’|
|7||Letters to Mary Field|
|8||Second (typed) Collection|
|9||Harriet Cohen and ‘The Princess’s Rose Garden’|
|11||‘Verses’ – Third (typed) Collection|
|12||‘Love Poems of a Musician’|
|13||‘A Dublin Ballad and Other Poems’|
|14||Memoir ‘The Two Brothers’ (Francis Colmer)|
|16||Index of Poems|
Catalogue code: FM091 • Published: September 2001
Entry last updated: 21st July 2010