W H Auden’s first published collection of poetry, simply titled Poems, was privately printed by his friend and fellow poet Stephen Spender. It was published in 1928, when Auden was 21, two years before a different collection with the same title was published by Faber. Perhaps the rarest of all of Auden’s publications, it was printed in an edition of about 45 copies.
This copy, signed by Auden, belonged to his friend the writer Edward Upward. Auden, who famously resisted the idea that a poem could ever be finished, continued to make modifications after printing had begun. As a result, the book contains several alterations made by hand by Auden and Spender.