FIRST EDITIONS, AN OUTSTANDING ASSOCIATION COPY: Theodore Roethke’s copies of Books III and V, with Book III inscribed in Roethke’s hand “Ted Roethke’s book, gift of W.C. Williams” and Book V inscribed by Williams “Ted from Bill”. With first editions of the remaining volumes.
William Carlos Williams was one of the most influential figures in Theodore Roethke’s creative life. “At a time when Theodore Roethke was finding his poetic voice, he called William Carlos Williams ‘my toughest mentor.’” From 1940-1948, as Roethke was developing his poetry, he submitted his latest work to Williams to critique. Williams repeatedly responded candidly and forcefully, issuing “a series of challenges to Roethke, and these challenges changed the direction and scope of Roethke's art” (Robert Kusch, “My Toughest Mentor”: Theodore Roethke and William Carlos Williams).
Roethke’s own volumes of Paterson - Williams’s masterpiece - must have held extraordinary significance for him and unite two of the towering figures in American poetry.
Each first edition of Paterson had a very limited print run: Books I-IV, one of only 1000 copies, Book V, one of 3000 copies. New York: New Directions, 1946-1958. Tall octavo, original cloth, original dust jackets. A fine set with only the most trivial wear.
Price: $17,500 .