Peggy Parris writes about Charlotte Mary Mew's difficulties in preparing her poem "Madeline in Church" for publication.





About her troubles with "Madeline": first of all, the lines of the poem are of varying lengths, some so long they wouldn't fit the standard format without being chopped off and set on the next line. She found that unacceptable and insisted the poem be set as she'd written it, so in the original chapbook, The Farmer's Bride (1915), the poem was set length-wise of the page. That is, you had to turn the book sideways in order to read it. I think she was right to stick to her guns because it read better that way. Have you ever seen a copy of that chapbook? I did once, but that's another story.
Peggy Parris
Associate Professor of Literature
University of North Carolina, Ashville, N.C.