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Z 0301.000

Series 40. Poetry
ca. 1924-1989; n.d.
0.17 cubic ft.

This series consists of poetry composed by Welty, sometimes in collaboration with friends. A number of the poems are of a humorous or satirical nature. Most of the poems were received as part of the gift of Welty's estate, and therefore are described below in bold font. When possible, the descriptions below are arranged in chronological order by supplied date.

The following works have been consulted in creating the descriptions below, and provided information on the creation or publication of the poems: Suzanne Marrs' The Welty Collection: A Guide to the Eudora Welty Manuscripts and Documents at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson and London: University Press of Mississippi, 1988); Noel Polk's Eudora Welty: A Bibliography of her Work (Jackson & London: University Press of Mississippi, 1994); Early Escapades by Eudora Welty, edited by Patti Carr Black (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005); Suzanne Marrs, Eudora Welty: A Biography (Orlando: Harcourt, 2005); and Eudora Welty's Occasions: Selected Writings, edited by Pearl Amelia McHaney (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2009).

Description Box Folder
Some Unusually Blank Verse. n.d. [ca. 1924?]. 8 pieces.
Photocopied handwritten pages of a poem with explanatory notes, dedicated by Welty to Mary Ellen Wilcox. Preceding the poem are photocopies of an invitation from Welty for Wilcox to join the 'Blinking Buzzards' club, and of a hand-drawn cover page bearing an illustration of a buzzard, with a skull and crossbones and the warning “Beware of the Blinking Buzzards.
365 1
Untitled. n.d. [1925]. 3 pieces.
On the accompanying envelope, Welty labels this poem, as a "Juvenile burlesque ballad" noting that "mother had saved it." Early Escapades characterizes it as a "parody of the fairytale 'Rapunzel'" that was published in the Mississippi State College for Women newspaper, The Spectator, in 1925. The poem is handwritten in pencil, with the word "Crazy" written at the top; on the verso of the second page is written "I wrote 2 on the same order – one all rite + romantic, one crazy."
365 2
Photocopied pages from "Lilies That Fester." [1937]; n.d. 7 pieces.
These pages consist of two photocopies each of two fictional biographical statements with photographs, and two photocopied pages of poetry (folder 4). On the original folder (folder 3), Welty described "Lilies…" as a "burlesque poetry anthology," and credits the work to Frank Lyell; Hubert Creekmore; and Robert Daniel, who possessed the original; as well as herself. Welty notes that the photographs in the work were those of "Jackson friends"; she herself may be clearly seen in the photocopied photograph for "Romola Knowles.".
365 3-4
"Ballad of the fight between Governor Johnson and Editor Sullens." May 2, [1940]. 2 pieces.
Two-page typescript poem on the fight between Mississippi governor Paul B. Johnson and Frederick Sullens, editor of the Jackson Daily News. There are corrections in pencil. At the top of a first page, a penciled note by Welty attributes the poem to "Hubert, Seta, Jimmy, Eudora, May 2," presumably crediting Hubert Creekmore, Seta Alexander Sancton, and Jimmy Wooldridge as co-authors.
365 5
"A Flock of Guinea Hens Seen from a Car." Drafts. [1957]. 2 pieces.
A typescript draft and carbon typescript draft of Welty's poem are not duplicates of each other, nor are they identical to the published version in The New Yorker (see below). The typescript is entitled "To Some Guineas Crossing the Highway," and has an occasional variation in wording and punctuation from the published text. The carbon typescript, which bears the final title, has typescript and blue-pencil corrections, as well as variations and errors in text and punctuation.
365 6
"To the Poet Who Appeals Who You Feel is Real. By Eudora Welty." n.d. [ca. 1930s?]; 1985-1989. 1 piece, with 6 accompanying pieces.
This typescript copy of the poem was sent to Welty by Mrs. Albert R. (Ellie) Martin, enclosed in a letter dated November 1, 1989, and accompanied by a photocopy of an earlier letter from Martin dated July 4, 1985. The 1985 letter explains that a mutual friend, Dorothy Thompson, had sent Ellie Martin the poem by Welty, "some years" after 1931. The poem is a tribute by Welty to May M. (Margaretta) Duffee and her poetry, and its title is clearly a play on that of Duffee's work, Poems that are real, that appeal, that you feel (published in 1917). Folder 7 contains the poem by Welty. Folder 8 contains the correspondence and accompanying envelopes from Ellie Martin.
365 7-8
"Upon Returning a Handkerchief which Matched a Tie." n. d. 1 piece.
Handwritten in ink by Welty on a sheet of small notebook paper, this poem concerns "Hubert's ties," almost certainly a reference to Hubert Creekmore. The poem is not an original composition, but a play on the twenty-eighth sonnet of Samuel Daniel that is addressed to "Delia": Welty herself notes at the end of the poem that Daniel "contributed all but 2 words."
365 9

Published Versions of Poetry

Description Box Folder
"A Flock of Guinea Hens Seen from a Car." The New Yorker. 20 April 1957. 1 item.
Complete issue containing the published poem on page 35.
365 10
A Flock of Guinea Hens Seen from a Car. By Eudora Welty. December 1970. 3 pieces. Welty's poem published as a holiday greeting card in a limited edition of three hundred copies, printed by William Ferguson for Albondocani Press. The cover drawing is by Robert Dunn. The card is accompanied by a blank insert and envelope. 365 11

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