Home icon. The Works of Robert Graves. Exhibition: 1 April to 17 June 2011.

Cabinet 6: Advances in Poetry


Robert Graves, Whipperginny. London: William Heinemann, 1923

On 15 June 1921, after a disastrous attempt at shop-keeping, and a constant need to raise money to live, Graves and his young family left Boar’s Hill and moved to World’s End, Collice Street, Islip, near Oxford.

During the year, the Oxford Poetry 1921 anthology appeared and it featured Graves’s ‘Unicorn and White Doe’, a parable about the poetic life.

By December 1921 Graves had incorporated the poem into Whipperginny, a collection that to him ‘showed the first signs of my new psychological studies’. Dedicated to Edward Marsh, this work appeared in 1923.

Poems that did not make it formed The Feather Bed, a work that Graves felt ‘represents a particular variety of liquefaction.’ Produced by the Woolf’s Hogarth Press, this limited edition volume sold out.

The Feather Bed.

Robert Graves, The Feather Bed. Richmond: Printed and published by Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1923.