Two O’ Clock in the Morning Poetry, #3


Middle Parts of Fortune, by Frederic Manning

“The air was alive with the rush and flutter of wings; it was ripped by screaming shells, hissing like tons of molten metal plunging suddenly into water, there was the blast and concussion of their explosion, men smashed, obliterated in sudden eruptions of earth, rent and strewn in bloody fragments, shells that were like hell-cats humped and spitting, little sounds, unpleasantly close, lie the plucking of tense strings, and something tangling his feet, tearing at his trousers and puttees as he stumbled over it, and then a face suddenly, an inconceivably distorted face, which raved and sobbed at him as he fell with it into a shell-hole.”

(Accounts of The Great War) 
FredricmanningManning was an Australian aspiring intellectual, already in his mid-30s when he enlisted as a private soldier in 1915. His prewar existence in England was dogged by unfulfilled literary hopes and emotional confusions. He served for only a few months in France, and his military career ended in alcoholism and disgrace. But in 1929 he composed a novel, obviously autobiographical, about three soldiers’ experience of the trench nightmare, which is outstanding. Almost certainly the finest work of its kind to emerge from the war. (Penguin)

Manning continued to write. In 1917 he published a collection of poems under the title Ediola. This was a mixture of verse predominantly in his former style alongside war poems heavily influenced by the imagism of Pound, which deal introspectively with personal aims and ideals tempered in the crucible of battle. He contributed to anthologies, for example, The Monthly Chapbook which appeared in July 1919 edited by Harold Monro, containing twenty-three poems by writers including John Alford, Herbert ReadWalter De La MareOsbert SitwellSiegfried SassoonD. H. LawrenceEdith SitwellRobert NicholsRose Macaulay and W. H. Davies alongside Manning and Aldington. He wrote for periodicals, including The Criterion, which was produced by T. S. Eliot.


Poetry did not pay, and so in 1923 Manning took a commission from his publisher John Murray to write The Life of Sir William White, a biography of the man who, as Director of Naval Construction, led the build-up of the Royal Navy in the last years of the nineteenth century. Galton had died in 1921, which not only left Manning effectively homeless, but also lacking a forceful directing influence in his life. He lived for much of the time at the Bull Hotel in Bourne, apart from a short spell when he owned a farmhouse in Surrey. At this time he was friendly with T. E. Lawrence, then serving in the Royal Air Force at RAF Cranwell, some twenty miles (a motorcycle ride) from where Manning was living. In 1926 he contributed the introduction to an edition of Epicurus’s Morals: Collected and faithfully Englished by Walter Charleton, originally published in 1656, published in a limited edition by Peter Davies. — from Wikipedia and Penguin



“Her Privates We” 1930, Cover art

Published by Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alask.a (Actually I have it pretty good.)

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