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Harold Munro The Silent Pool Poetry

The Silent Pool Harold Munro 1st Edition

SKU: 19421

THE SILENT POOL  & Other Poems by Harold Edward Munro


Poems in the anthology were chosen and put together after Harold Munro's death in 1932  by his wife Alida Munro. 


1st Edition 1942

Published by Faber and Faber, 24 Russell Square, London 

Orange printed card covers with red and navy dust jacket.

Size: H x W 7.5" x 5"

79 Pages

Condition:  Good

One inch tear to title page at page edge, see photo.

Sun fade and minor scuffing to spine of dust jacket

Age related paper discolouration 

Not price clipped.

A clean, tight copy.


First Class Post via Royal Mail



Westminster Abbey Monday 4th August 2014 in a moving service called "A Solemn Commemoration on the Centenary of the Outbreak of the First World War" Harold Munro’s acerbic 1914 poem "To what God shall we chant our songs of battle?" was chosen. It was commissioned and set to beautiful choral music by David Matthews, an internationally renowned symphonist. The Guardian newspaper quoted James O'Donnell, organist and choir master, saying his [Matthews] setting of the despairing 1914 poem …"leaves you standing on the edge of abyss". 


BIOGRAPHY of Harold Edward Munro 1879–1932

Harold Monro was born in Brussels to Scottish parents. His father and brother died early in his life, losses that would shape his outlook and may account for the melancholic tone of much of his poetry. But he was also taken with the Utopian promises offered in the work of H.G. Wells. Monro’s early press, Samurai Press, was founded on Wellsian socialist ideals, and his early books sprang from this period of questioning and questing: Chronicle of a Pilgrimage (1909), which recounts Monro’s walk from Paris to Milan, and Before Dawn: Poems and Impressions (1911).
Monro is most famous for his role supporting poets and poetry as founder and editor of the magazines Poetry Review and Poetry and Drama and as proprietor of the Poetry Bookshop, a meeting place, in the years leading up to World War I and after, for both Georgian and Modernist poets. Monro is sometimes credited with helping formulate the terms for a more “realistic” kind of war poem. In an editorial for Poetry and Drama, he called for a direct treatment of the war, poems that would expose “the plain facts of the human psychology of the moment.” Monro’s war poem “Youth in Arms” is thought to have influenced Wilfred Owen, a visitor and guest of the bookshop in 1916. Though he suffered from poor health and never saw action, Monro himself served in the Royal Garrison Artillery and the Ministry of Information.
The Poetry Bookshop remained an important meeting place for poets, including T.S. Eliot and his “Criterion club,” until 1935. The press Monro operated from the business published all editions of the anthology Georgian Poetry (1912–1922) as well as first books by Robert Graves, Charlotte Mew, and Richard Aldington. Monro’s own collections, published by the press, include Children of Love (1915), Strange Meetings (1917), Real Property (1922), and The Earth for Sale (1928). At the end of his life, Monro was plagued by financial troubles, politically pessimistic, and all but forgotten. He died of tuberculosis.

Information courtesy of


Harold Edward Monro was a British poet, the proprietor of the Poetry Bookshop in London which helped many famous poets bring their work before the public. Monro was born in Brussels, but his parents were Scottish. He was educated at Radley and at Caius College, Cambridge. His first collection of poetry was published in 1906. He founded a poetry magazine, The Poetry Review, which was to be very influential. In 1912, he founded the Poetry Bookshop in Bloomsbury, London, publishing new collections at his own expense and rarely making a profit, as well as providing a welcoming environment for readers and poets alike. Several poets, including Wilfred Owen, actually lodged in the rooms above the bookshop. Monro was also closely involved with Edward Marsh in the publication of Georgian Poetry.

Although homosexual, he married before World War I, but he and his wife separated and were divorced in 1916. In 1917, he was called up for military service, a very unhappy experience for him. His health soon gave way, and he returned to run the Poetry Bookshop in 1919. He was not a mainstream war poet, but did occasionally write about the subject. In 1920, he married his long-standing assistant, Alida Klementaski. Their relationship seems to have been an intellectual rather than a physical one. Monro continued to suffer from alcoholism, which contributed to his early death.



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