Brooke, Rupert (1887 – 1915)
Brooke pens a poem to a young actress
An original autograph poem signed by Rupert Brooke (“Rupert”), (New Zealand, 24th December 1912), on the reverse side of a picture postcard of a Maori woman named ‘Guide Kathleen’, and addressed by Brooke to Cathleen Nesbitt, the young actress to whom he became engaged. Brooke writes amusingly, in relation to the picture subject of the postcard, “Kathleen, who guidest the feet that stray, And keepest them in the homeward way! Ten thousand miles I put between me and the lady called Cathleen, And crossed the enormous earth, to find What I’d so carefully left behind, a Kathleen at my journey’s end, My guide, philosopher, and friend.
O treacherous guid, o infamy, Spelt with a K, and not a C, Friendly and willing tho’ you be, You are not she, you are not she! Stolid and stupid, slow to please, Kathleen of the Antipodes, Pug-nosed, pathetic, meagre, mean, Antipodes of the Cathleen.” Signed beneath his poem, “Rupert”. Written in bold fountain-pen ink throughout. Apparently unpublished. A central fold, not touching any words, and age-toning, otherwise in fine condition. Attractively matted with a photographic portrait of Brooke, and framed.