Title World War Two Prisoner-of-War Manuscript with Original Poetry and Humorous Drawings A compilation of poems written for several prison camp newspapers
Book Condition Good
Publisher Camp 53, Sforz Costa (Marche, Italy) June 5, 1942-
Seller ID 006095
Manuscript created by an English prisoner-of-war in an Italian POW camp. 28 by 22 cm, spine along top edge. 184 pp., dense with original poems and cartoon drawings (and some miscellany). The poems were written for the camp newspapers, with each compound within the camp apparently having its own newspaper, and possibly more than one. "Griff" was the newspaper for compound 2, "Brew" and "Star", compound 1, Wire", compound 3. Virtually all the poems rely heavily on rhyming -- not a few might pass as song lyrics. As one might expect, the poems concern camp life, sports, the gauzy recollection of the simple pleasures of life left behind, including the missed girl friend but also the little things in life. Patriotic sentiments are frequently expressed. Humor and light-heartedness suffuse the writing, undoubtedly the best attitude towards tolerating the discomforts and sacrifices of prison camp life, plus there was a general relief at just being alive and spared the grim reaper. Many of the poems are credited with initials and sometimes names. While there were no poets laureates to be among them, the poems are overall competently composed and many quite enjoyable light verse. The manuscript is richly illustrated, with some decorative element or vignette illustration on most pages, and many illustrations that are full page or dominate their pages. The illustrations are almost entirely in color, and many are signed "Len". All the poems appear to be written into the album, generally block capital letters, by a single hand, which we presume to be tht of Private Worth. Whoever it was wrote neatly -- everything is easily legible, and often tried to bring some panache to his writing with coloring and enlarging the first letter of a line. He also was, we might say, a creative speller. In the back of the album there is an one page glossary of Italian words translated into English, and another page listing heavy weight boxing champions and a short piece on statistics relating to gold. The metal binding is made from Red Cross tins. The title, "Griff", is written in white paint. There are a few simple decorative touches applied by the same paint.