Friday, November 8, 2013

Another inscription in one of my used books

In the current book of poetry I am slowly reading, I found this written (apparently in a fine-tipped Sharpie-style pen) on the back of my copy of A Choice of Kipling's Verse ~  selected with an essay on Rudyard Kipling by T.S. Eliot (Published 1941 by Faber and Faber Ltd.):

"And this letter will be the last
If I don't hear from you --
Not out of anger or pride but
Simply because one-way discourse
is [...] boring for me -- I can
hear my own voice quite enough as
it is, thank-you."

Thinking perhaps it was a quotation, I tried searching it on the Internet, but to no avail. (If it IS from some poem or another sort of literary reference, please inform me in the comments below!) Either way, it struck me as so sad, so lonely, and so final.  

Why write it in a book? Why this particular collection of Kipling's poetry? Why the last page (really, the paperback cover) rather than the first? If this was a gift to someone who wasn't replying to letters, surely the flyleaf or something would be the obvious choice so the receiver would see it right away.

1 comment:

  1. Very strange and mysterious. It's possible the owner of the book wrote this as an aide memoire for a letter he was looking to send at a later date as he had no other paper beside him/her. I wonder if he/she replied.