New York: Dial Press, 1945.
1st edition, full blue cloth, with printed dust jacket. Specially signed and inscribed by poet John Berryman on the FEP. The inscription by Berryman is to "Mary Jane" (Christenson Heming). The inscription reads "Congratulations! / & love / John" and is dated "7 Apr 1947" in black fountain pen ink. We acquired the book from another source indirectly from Mary's family, with the story that Mary had been one of Berryman's girl friends, and that Berryman had once said (in print, apparently) that she had "the most beautiful breasts in the world." The book JOHN BERRYMAN AND THE THIRTIES: A MEMOIR by Ernest Milton Halliday refers to the love affair of Berryman and Heming. A poignant association by Berryman wanting to give a copy of Jarrell's book (a poet whom he greatly admired) as a special gift for some accomplishment in Mary's life. Berryman and Jarrell had been friends since the early years of their careers. Their first book appearances were together in James Laughlin's FIVE YOUNG AMERICAN POETS (New Directions, 1940) along with three other poets. A few years later Berryman wrote a powerful review of Jarrell's POETRY AND THE AGE (Knopf, 1953) that appeared in THE NEW REPUBLIC (November 2, 1953) and later reprinted in the tribute RANDALL JARRELL: 1914-1965 (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1967) edited by Robert Lowell, et al. Upon his death, Berryman wrote "Jarrell's death hit me very hard . . . we were friends for a very long time." The present offering shows gentle wear and sunning to cloth along edges, the book is otherwise near fine. The worn and torn dust jacket is missing several pieces. Photo images available upon request. A unique copy. Item #4915