Sunday, February 22, 2009

G D H Cole: More Erotic Socialism?

On Sunday just gone R and I laboured up the A3 to Midhurst to a book fair which, despite its having been held there for many years, I've never visited. It was a pleasant surprise to find a really interesting selection of books on display at prices as varied as their subject matter.

The above, An Introduction to Trade Unionism by G D H Cole was a bit of a must-have since, as well as being a writer on Socialist themes, Cole was also a minor poet, and his one extant volume of poetry New Beginnings and The Record is listed in Tim d'Arch Smith's Love in Earnest and is included in the canon of 'Uranian' poets not because of anything desperately explicit in his poems, although they do have a certain 'sensibility', but because he was listed in the 1930s book catalogue from Francis Edwin Murray that Tim used as the basis of his researches: which in itself indicates that that the omniscient Murray knew enough about the subject of Cole's poetry to include it.

The Record-bit of Cole's book is subtitled, 'An Occasional Diary in Verse' and, for your delectation here are a couple of samples, the second of which at least hints at a forbidden kind of love:


I HAVE lain with thee beside me,
And watched the pale stars shine,
And felt thy form beside me,
Through the long night divine.

O loveliness commingling
In my heart with the starry sky,
Thou hast usurped the splendour
Of God's eternity.

12. At A Concert

ONLY a touch of our hands by chance-
Oh, but a trail of flame.
Only a thoughtless, joyful glance,
But who shall name its name ?

A look from thee, and thy body warm,
And the music mingling clear,
And out again to the heedless swarm,
Where I may not call thee dear.

Not exactly Wordsworth but sweet at times and another interesting example of homosexuality and open socialist views from this period: see Mr Paine/Anderson elsewhere on this blog for more on that...

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