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In 1928, Brasch bought a Insel Verlag edition of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), considered one of the greatest lyric poets of modern Germany. Later he bought a German edition of Rilke's Letters to a young poet from which he translated passages for the second issue of Phoenix, perhaps the earliest translations of this writer to appear in English. Enthusiastically, Brasch claimed: 'Yes they [the letters] were addressed to me!' The influence lasted, for Brasch wrote numerous early poems 'which in a blurred watery way closely reflected his works.'

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The publication of Joseph Malaby Dent's 'Everyman Library' began in 1906 and 152 titles were issued by the end of the first year. It was a series of 1,000 classics to be published in an attractive format and sold at affordable prices, i.e. one shilling a volume. As a bookman concerned more with content than with deluxe editions, Brasch lived at the right time. His library contains many of these commercially produced books and the famous catch-cry was no doubt familiar to him: 'Everyman, I will go with thee, and be thy guide, In thy most need to go by thy side.'

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When Brasch visited Ireland in 1935 he carried with him Yeats's Collected Poems. He read the poet's works as he traveled through places such as Dublin, Gort, Coole, Sligo, and Knocknarea. 'Here was the work of a living poet which sounded like sea surge in my ears and haunted me no less than that of any of the great dead.' In 1939 Yeats died, and coupled with the death of his sister Lesley, and political developments in Spain, Brasch wrote gloomily: 'It was the worst time I had ever known.' The 'TSM' on the binding of this limited edition copy of The Tower stands for T. Sturge Moore (1870-1944), the English writer. Brasch purchased this book in Oxford on 18 February 1928.

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In The Universal Dance, a posthumous publication (1981) of selected prose writings by Brasch, 25 pages are dedicated to the English poet Robert Graves. Brasch admired Graves's polished verse and felt he was 'among the finest English poets of our time, one of the few who is likely to be remembered as a poet.' Although the latter phrase may not ring true today, Brasch ensured that Graves's presence would not diminish, at least not in Dunedin. Through his instigation, books by Graves were purchased and today, Special Collections, University of Otago, houses the largest collection of poetry and prose by Graves in New Zealand. Incidentally, Graves also went to St John's College, Oxford.

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W.H. Auden, 'Mountains'. London: Faber and Faber, 1954.

In Modern Poetry, a lecture given at a Dunedin Poetry school in January 1949, Brasch stated that W. H. Auden, along with T.S. Eliot, were 'the two most important poets now writing in English.' Auden's use of images and examples from a wide knowledge base (Auden was a prolific reader) were two aspects that Brasch admired in the poet. Limited issue Ariel Poems series. It is illustrated by Edward Bawden (1903-1989), the English artist and printer.

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