New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, . Hardcover. Small 8vo. Orange cloth with green lettering. viii, 76pp. Very good. Several leaves show formerly-folded upper corners. Item #43223
A tight and nice first edition, second state (with text on page 76) -- this copy extra-illustrated with an autograph frontispiece: Tipped to the blank leaf facing title page is a 3½" X 3½" pale orange scrap on which Sandburg has boldly pencilled about a half dozen lines in his early, small and tight script in idiosyncratic shorthand that reads rather like gibberish. Verbatim: "By candles ty read tr ragpaper tho / bound in leather / [scribbled out word] / Ty clippt to sheep & cardy to wool & pub / on homespun, -- pl did. / [scribbled out line appears to read: Ty cooks on Iron pans & copper pots] / Tr handmade shoes, tr flintlock musk- / ets. / woman sy, 'Be very / easy rider." Throughout his life Sandburg was famed for jotting notes on odd bits of paper and carrying them around in his pockets, and this is one such example which we gauge, based on the tiny script and odd newsprint-like paper scrap, to date from his early days as a "Chicago Daily News" reporter. Whether these are notes for a poem on which he was working or notes for a news story is difficult to determine. It is unsigned, of course, being a note made simply for his own use. Not only fascinating but extremely unusual and scarce, in any case, and worth further research.