Robert Sward Papers, 1951-1971.
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All Series Level Scope and Content Notes

Scope and Contents Note

The Robert Sward Papers are one of the largest and most diverse manuscript collections among Washington University's holdings. They include an extensive correspondence with literary figures, little magazine editors, small press publishers, family members, and friends. Thousands of pages of Sward's heavily revised worksheets and journals are also present and serve as excellent examples of the poetic process at work. A large collection of little magazines, small press publications, and literary ephemera is also housed in the Sward Papers and helps further document not only the life and career of Robert Sward, but also the American poetry scene during the 1960's and 1970's.


Consists of general and professional correspondence, 1952-1972, including carbons of letters from Robert Sward.


Consists of correspondence, 1952-1972, between Robert Sward and members of his family.


Consists of titled and untitled poems, fragments, notes, poems collected for readings, and manuscripts toward published and unpublished collections.


Consists of titled poems, maintained alphabetically.


Consists of untitled poems, maintained alphabetically by first line.


Consists of notes toward and comments on poems, as well as fragments of poems. Included with the notes are three drafts of poem titles proposed for collaboration with Robert Cohen.


Consists of multiple copies of poems arranged alphabetically by title, including three collections of short poems. Several drafts are inscribed to William Meredith.


Consists of drafts of 25 poems used for poetry readings, including several collections of short poems and a few multiple copies.


Consists of material toward 4 unpublished collections titled: Albany Park , Chicago ; Letters to his psychiatrist ; Kiss, bite and moo softly ; Selected poems: 1957-1971 .


Consists of material toward Sward's published collections of poetry.


Consists of material toward Sward's 3 fiction works, The Jurassic Shales, Soft , and Living in the Present .


Consists of material toward The Jurassic Shales (Toronto: Coach House Press, 1975), includes drafts, notes, paste-ups, journal entries and copies of letters from Sward to Robert Cohen and Margaret Randall. Consult data base for more detailed listing of folder contents.


Consists of material toward Soft (unpublished novella) including notes, fragments and partial drafts. The work is a collaborative effort with Sward's wife, Judith.


Consists of material toward Living in the present (unpublished novella) including notes, fragments and some drafts. The work is a collaborative effort with Ann Quin.


Consists of various manuscripts--plays, reviews, essays, student work, interview, reading (tape), and other manuscript material.


Consists of material toward 3 plays.


Consists of reviews and essays from 1956-1967.


Consists of interview, letters, introductions, recommendations, Sward's college papers, tape of reading, and other manuscript materials.


Consists of Sward's journals, 1952-1969, and include poetry, prose, notes toward his works, and notes from his reading and personal life.


Includes: Three and one , Woman , untitled , untitled , dated 1954 , Bear [?] , Cloud , The hand , dated 9/24 , Damned hand , Air man 3 parts , Circle .

Noted on the front cover: "1952-1953 earliest notebook?"


Notes on Jungian psychology, satire. Primarily miscellaneous newspaper and magazine clippings.


Notes giving impression of noises, foods, places, situations and people, bits of philosophy, quotations of others--Robert Lowell, etc.; comments on physical and mythical aspects of Greece and surroundings, on trip over France, Italy, Germany, landscapes, museums, eating, etc.; literary notes, relationship between poetry and plays, on Joyce and Irish poetry. Comments on trip over France, Italy, Germany, landscapes, museums, eating, etc.


Contains notes on Hopkins' Wreck of Deutschland, on Pound from G. S. Fraser and Sward's own ideas. Quotes from W. H. Gardner, from Kenner's book on Pound, from A. Alvarez, and Winters. Inscribed on spine: "notes on Pound and Hopkins' `Wreck-' Fulbright= Notes on `Wreck of Deutschland' + Pound, etc.".


Notes on American naval officer in Athens, on Christianity, Leo Katz (dated Oct/Dec-Winter, 1961), Leon Hartl, Mildred Thompson, Sheperd Rupkon, Peter Takal, Mr. and Mrs. J. Honig (dated Nov. 4th-5th, 1961), John Ciardi, Colin Wilson, recurring dream, free verse, 3rd edition of Websters New Unabridged Dictionary, 1961; some philosophical comments in prose and poetry, with revisions. Comments on Louise Bogan, Mrs. Untermeyer, England and the English, Eliot and The Wasteland, women, the poet and teaching/writing. Quotes from Frost, Andrew Wyeth, notes from Tales of Hasidim by Buber. 5 sheets of music laid in.


Mentions books he is reading and wants to read, e.g. Pound, Charles Norman on Pound; bits of philosophy, horoscopes, quotations from various sources including radio and books; word images, comments on Diane and family affairs, Meredith, Roethke, and others, writing poems, poems in his dreams, impressions of situations.


Quotations from Pound, Meredith, The Nation, Frost, Yeats, Talma, Edmond Wilson, Hanna, Lisker, Sargent, Gilbert, Jean Untermyer, Gottlieb, Elias Tannenbaum, Elinor Wylie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chaplin, Gaughin's journals, V. R. Lang, Puskin, Petroleum Nasby, Etc. Poetry notes, comments on La Ventura, Platonia, Rennstein in California, politics and philosophy, environmental and emotional situations, Jews and Jewishness, Narcissism (homosexuality), existentialism, writers and composers, sex and adultery, Sappho, other Greek and Roman poets, Steinbers drawings, Yaddo, etc. Reading Rabbit Run, Love and Friendshipby A. L. Bishop. Includes poems of Frances Golffing for Robert Sward, word list, excerpt from Cerf on Faulkner. Mentions ms. to be titled `probably' Kissing the dancer [eventually published as that title].


Notes on his dreams, books being read and quotes that impressed him, Fitzgerald, Pound, Calder, etc. Comments on poetry, his work Uncle Dog, Alexander Calder, [quote from Horizon]; numerous quotations throughout.


Notes on his impressions of people, Joyce Morganroth, Auden and his lecture, Harold Lloyd, Martin Buber, David Hall, Robert Graves and his poetry, Bly, etc. Comments on his writing, self-consciousness of the diary, parties, weddies, environments, definitions, graffiti, horoscope advice, Epoch, correlation between psychiatrists and call girls, Jewishness, psychology, acceptances of poems, classes, experimental films, Frederic Will, Souster `who can write like Creeley', Creeley, and personal and family matters. Reading Steinbeck's Winter of Our Discontent, Buber West's Day of the Locust, Schulberg's The Disenchanted, "Little Cloud" from Dubliners, Shaw's Heartbreak House, Lessing's Golden Notebook, Sigal's Going Away. Quotes on jazz, Hemingway, D. H. Lawrence, Bly, etc. Notes that if Faulkner can write about the South, he (Sward) can write about Chicago.


Notes on impressions of people, situations and places. Literary notes, word images and word lists. Quotations from various sources, including Francis Bromley, etc. Comments on Coat Upon a Stick, Norman Fruchter's first novel. Relates bits of philosophy, but concerned primarily with mundane things--chores, factual events, etc.


Quotations and notes about schedules, teaching, publication of poems, editorial matters relating to Epoch, notes, fragments and paste-ups of poems, comments on John Hollander, Robert Bly, Louis Simpson, women, and his relationship with Diane.


Notes for poem On waterskis, death, untitled, Pavane, [rev. p. 54, another version p. 61 as numbered in book!], Silhouette, In praise of grass. Comments on reading critics, on Tom Filer, Christians on the New York Times , Yaddo residents, Book of the Money Club, Rosette Lamont, Jo Oppenheimer, Saratoga Raceway, nightmares, impressions of people, environment, physical and psychological, Anne Sexton, Jayne Mansfield, W. R. Keast, McConkey's house, William Burroughs' Naked Lunch , William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Modigliani, Academe, Candid Camera, review of Dog, Christine Keeler's confession, and political, theological, psychological matters. Epigrams formed from parts of older poems. Several poems dated 6/18/63, two untitled. Poems: On the beach at Nafplion, Rust, Stream rocks, Doppelganger (?). Annotated list of plants, list of names, childrens' rhymes and riddles. Poems, cards and other clippings mounted.


Quotations from Robert Lindner, Norman Mailer, J. Miller, Sartre. Comments on paintings in Whitney Museum, on Diane, Louise Bogan, Louise Talma, W. R. Keast, Rosette Lamont, Doris Lessing, Yaddo, ideas for his classes at Cornell, on women, sex, Paul Blackburn and his poetry. Poetry notes, revised HuH?, Autumn, and I have belief.... Notes on own impressions of environments, people, both physical and psychological. Quotations from an interview with Robert Lowell and Howar Nathans' Journal. Names lists. Miscellaneous clippings mounted.


Comments on reading aloud, illustration for Kissing the dancer, Diane Sward, reaction to music, impressions of people, things, environment (physical and psychological). Quotes from David Storey's This Sporting Life, William Buckley, Steve Katz's The Lestriad, Simone de Beauvoir, Poem from Jail by Ed Saunders and various journals. Photocopy review of Marx Brothers film by Richard Rowland, taped in and underlined. Outline of standards for analysis of literary works. Notes for class.


Poetry notes, poems including: You notice (fl), I believe (fl), I squeeze (fl), The blue can that held tar (fl), What is one in search of (fl), Letter to John, Accident report, Poem, A friend, Moments, Reflections, Receiving, The lover who said nothing. These are found throughout the notebook in various stages of revision. Comments on family, hearing of the death of Kennedy, political outcome, on Fellini's 8 1/2, impressions of people, environment. Notes for `novel/opera', A dog's head, notes from de Beauvoir's A dutiful daughter. Notes from Paul Carroll on Creeley's For love and The island. Revised letter to Don, note for Rosette. Quotes from Ruskin, Mailer. Notes for an essay. Clippings mounted throughout.


Sward's impression of environment, events, people, and his own attitudes and feelings. Notes for poems, all with revisions, first lines include: I awaken self-hating at 8:15, I have come a long way, Boozing with a friend o mine I tell three, The two forces are events. Titles include: Celebration, Solarium, Of the now president, Wind, Lady, Bones' Lanemn, Landscape, The sleeper, All evening, Hair. Includes quotes from Andrew Wyeth, Alison Lurie, Fanny Hill , Norman Mailer, comments on family, paintings in the National Gallery, Washington, dreams, attitudes, behavior, Creeley's Majorca, James Rosenquis paintings, Snodgrass, Cornell faculty, Johnson's news conference, poetry reading, Robert Duncan. Reading Farewell to Arms. Various photographs, cards, clippings mounted.


Quotations from various sources e.g. Josephine Korngold, Marx Brothers movies. Notes political ideas, bits of philosophy, impressions of people. Literary notes, comments on paintings. Primarily concerned with mundane chores, factual events.


Comments on new book of poems, Thousand Year Old Fiancee, e.g., its contents, ordering of poems. Notes relation of poetry to politics, poetry as philosophy. Poems, all revised: Beach scenes and other scenes, The New York thruway, Politics, Lovers, Republican National Convention. Quotes from Ellison's Invisible Man. Postcards mounted, entitled Chicago sequence. Clippings mounted.


Notes on Chicago - museums, parks, history, artists, architects, architecture, flora, origin of its name, names of streets, lounges, gangs, businessmen; includes quotations about Chicago, clippings and photographs of buildings. Photographs of Los Angeles mounted. Quotations from Norman O. Brown's Life Against Death, Robert Frost. Untitled poetry notes in various stages of revision; first lines include: Lake and wave, Front small boats, Late moon the moon glints. Titles include: Watching the inauguration.


Includes list of names, list of poems to be included in Chicago Sequence, list of books to read, list of Chicago's whore houses, comments on places, Rosette, politics, portions of Chekhov's Gooseberries. Also includes names of sea funa, birds from field guide. Prose notes, poetry notes with revisions; first lines include: Girl with a rooster's head, nostrils, Next door hammering. Titles include Window ledge, Business district 1911, Greyhound Bus Station, To those desiring, The plane-landing poem, Crab motions - for Blackburn. Quotations from Algren, Ginsburg, Rilke, Genet, Virginia Woolf, Creeley.


Includes word lists, philosophical ideas, list of names, notes on handwriting analysis, dance, drama, scenes in Paris. Poetry notes in various stages of revision; first lines include: She tells me smells, paints, greens; No reason, no rain, but anyhow; On the left a line of trees; There is the moon and through the town; Floating sideways on one's back. Titles include: Reluctance, Rain storm, Demonstration, Forests, Newsreel, Reader of newspapers, Roller coaster, Cafe Rochet returns, New York thruway; series beginning with George.


Notes on Los Angeles, the Southwest, Mexico, his trip across the country, the Republican National convention, the Huntington Hartford Foundation, John Cage, Susan Sontag, Robert Duncan, David Ray, Fitzgerald, dreams, films he's seen. Also notes toward and fragments of poetry, some of which are for In Mexico. Photographs, clippings of reviews of Kissing The Dancer, two poems by Ann Quin - Letter from Iowa and Second letter from Iowa.


Comments on Henry Moore, Calder, John Ciardi, Dali, Tennessee Williams, Hitchcock, Malcolm Muggeridge, Elmer Gantry, `Babbit Power,' people, interactions, morning after LSD experience, psychiatry, philosophy. Wants to read Steppenwolf, Hesse. Quotes from Barbara Overmyer, astrologers, The Realist , horoscope, news items.


Entries consist of quotations, paste-ups, fragments, notes and drafts of poems: For the 89th Congress, Awakening, Pacific Coast highway II, Nine-sided moon, Reply, Donkey trail, In Mexico, Malibu, Idyll, Proposal, 57th Street, The poet declares for his reader, Accident report, Chicago - Pulaski streetcar, Orthodontist, The Wall Street Journal, Concert, San Miguel de Allende, Gifts, Linebacker X in vogue, Slide projector, The world, Epilogue, The world that is stars, The world walking, The mother, Self-portrait, Key, Hilltop, The day Mother Hubbard and Ipana, Umbrella, Flower dream song. Also included, notes on his composition technique and horoscope.


Comments on Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, by Paul Reps, movies, Bill Ludwig, Tarascan Indians, his future, his relationship with Diane, LSD, America, East coast blackout, dreams, poetry, Dali, Tennessee Williams. Quotations from Sartre and Emerson. Poetry in various stages of revision; first lines include: That thing, Small boy dresses, We are in Chicago, Trees, To keep the brains intact, Sun slanting through clouds, M. is in love with himself, America I have slipped past your lined. Titles include: Monster movie, Landscape, Dqguerreotype, Bonnet, The day Mother Hubbard and Ipana, Acapulco. Postcards, photographs, clippings, letter from Larry Lieberman mounted.


Notes on images, yoga, Cibola, soul force, philosophy and psychology. Notes toward preface and prologue of In Mexico. Also included are word lists and quotes from A.J.D. Taylor, Thoreau, Gita.


Notes on images, yoga, Cibola.


Notes on philosophical, theological, political ideas, Mayans, growing a beard, poetry reading. Quotations from the New York Review of Books, Auden, Henry Moore. Includes notes from Upanishads, Zukofsky review by T. Clark, Masks and Magic, list of words for each letter of the alphabet with repeats of letters, intentions to read about Upanishads, Mayan Indians, animal anthology, Hour of Darkness, Book of Revelations. Notes toward poems: Snow falling, San Cristobal, Just these glimmers, the heaven of stones stars stary light. Drafts of poems: World that is stars, The world walking. Also included, poem from The Activist, by John Block, entitled Beard.


Notes on words to be included in new poems, word lists, philosophy, Diane, readings, In Mexico, Iycar.


Entries consist of clippings, paste-ups, quotations, notes on I Ching castings, the Upanishads, fragments of In Mexico, comments on reading poetry, Portsmouth, N.H. peace demonstrations, Robert Bly, doodle from Ann Quin. Drafts of poems include: All women, Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Get away poem, 9-night shooting chant, the snakes in Atotaho's hair. Also included, draft of a children's story.


Notes on poems for reading, poetry readings, America, institutions, Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, Saturday Review. Lists of advertisements and quotes from Kierkegaard's The Present Agealso included.


Notes on relationships, The Grand Illusion by Renoir, sex, America, people, imagination, George Feifer, Rosen, relationship with Diane, name lists, poems In Mexico, Return, and Departures for X. Quotes from Kierkegaard, Portraits Contempariars, Svevo, and a poem by B. Sakoguchi. Clippings mounted.


Notes on Ann Quin, Diane, Keith Wilson, John Logan. Notes for In Mexico. Quotations from Artaud, Maeterlinck, others. Photographs of Ann Quin, D.H. Lawrence Ranch.


Includes word images, notes for poems, with humorous revisions.


Notes on Ann Quin, Diane. word images, philosophy, psychology, landscapes, magazines, various paintings by Rivers, Albers, Dine. Five pages of addresses.


Notes on Ann Quin, progress with work, London, Norman Mailer, Pinter, reading material, I Ching, dreams. Includes journal section of Jurassic Shales, and drafts of some poems including: 4 people floating a 3, Obscenities, Donkey trails, Dr. America.


Entries consist of notes for an untitled play, impressions of London and Mexico, drawings, I Ching castings, transcribed dialogue with his daughter Barbara, dreams, comments on his relationships with Ann Quin and Diane.


Notes on psychology, word images, relationship with Quin, dreams, I Ching, relationship with Judith, Judith's husband, Indian names, weather, dinosaurs, Jung, Blow Up. Notes toward poems: The snakes in Atohaho's hair, With this in mind, The old lady toad, Trips not on established trails, Dreams, The horse which throws the dreamer to the ground.


Notes on Tate gallery, paintings, novels, word list, 2001 [film], W.C. Fields, philosophy, signs of the zodiac, I Ching, chores of leaving England for Mexico, single lines and poetry notes.


Notes on Ann, Judith, dreams, I Ching. Notes toward poems: Found poem from Theban recension, The lions yesterday, The ballad of Wimpy Fairfax, The biography of Harry Cellwater, The 11th Orkney.


Notes on dream, David, love. Notes toward 4 people floating a 3 [poem]. Also included letter to Ann Quin, and one page of geometric designs.


Entries consist of notes, fragments and drafts of poems: The roof, Good morning, Where to buy a Civil War uniform, Impatience, No one I know is drowning, I am the present human race, Scarf gobble wallow inventory, In Mexico. Also included are a watercolor by Sward, photographs of Ann Quin, Diane, Barbara Sward, and notes on his drug experience, I Ching castings, newspaper clippings.


Notes on women, sex, authority, RC's Stance, movie with Peter Fonda. Also included are diagrams of I Ching.


Contains drafts of The biography of Harry Cellwater [poem], and other fragments.


Entries consist of notes and fragments of poems, drafts of Braille, The day between her birthday and Mother's Day, Honest people, Following on the Fillmore or nature of babies changed, Riding a white pony; notes on Judith and Hannah.


Consists of loose journal notes, including dreams, conversations with Judith, notes on July, 1968 visit to San Miguel to see Diane Sward, notes on relationship with Ann Quin.


Consists of loose journal pages containing notes for poetry readings and publication of poems, drafts of a story for Barbara, descriptions of San Miguel de Allende, Portsmouth, N.H. peace march, drug experiences, dreams, poem fragments.


Consists of loose journal pages containing notes about language and criticism, health foods, astrology, handwriting, plans for work, Eckman, and drafts of an introduction for a reading by William Meredith.


Consists of loose journal pages containing descriptions of dreams, notes on Genet, Ginsberg, Judith, Diane and Ann, notes for poems and readings, quotations, drafts of: Two for the morning, Sharon Center, Iowa, Phoenix, and Windmills.


Consists of loose journal pages containing quotations notes on astrology, literary criticism, descriptions of drug experiences, his psychiatrist, psychoanalysis, impressions of Mexico; also included is copy of letter from Diane Johnson.


Consists of loose journal pages containing his LSD journal, notes for poetry readings, comments on art, poetry, writing, journal writing, Norman O. Brown, Ann Quin, Diane, John Holt, Giacometti, dreams.


Consists of loose journal pages containing notes for poems, comments on society, U.S., psychology, Diane, Judith, Ann Quin, dreams.


Contains notes toward dream sequence of Jurassic Shales, On the day [poem] by Judith Sward, and Robert Sward's notes about her poem.


Consists of poetry and prose mss by authors other than Sward, filed alphabetically by author.


Consists of miscellaneous materials, broken into 2 sub-series, Personal miscellany and General miscellany.


Consists of personal miscellany, including material for Soft Press, family documents, photographs, drawings and material for teaching.


Consists of general miscellany including announcements, clippings, MacDowell Colony material and other matter.


Letters, poems and drawings for Vernon Scannell. This anthology includes work by Edwin Brock, Prosper Dowden, Richard Freeman, Alan Brownjohn, George MacBeth, Dannie Abse, Peter Porter, Mike Foreman, as well as Bax.


Mass-circulation fund-raising appeal letter signed by di Prima and Allen Ginsberg although the signatures do not appear to be genuine.


poem is from Colonel Johnson's ride.


includes Lady-frog [poem], by Peter Carr; this is an article from Orange County Illustrated, May, 1964.


also includes An old photograph of strangers [poem]; filed in Ser. I.1. on verso of letter from William Meredith.





also includes For Guillaume Apollinaire [poem]; filed in Ser I.1. on verso of letter from William Meredith, 1963: Jan. 1.


Jointly written with Robert Cohen; re: the problems encountered by the magazine's editors with the Mexican government and the eventual demise of the magazine.


with drawing by Mildred Thompson on recto.


with drawing by Mildred Thompson on recto.


anthology includes poems by Jonathan Aldrich, A. Basalyga, Ann Boyer, Mary Frances Claggett, Leona G. Davis, Paula Dunaway, Margaret Grant Fielders, Mrs. Cleora Fuller, Arnold E. Grade, William Hare, Lyris Hyatt, Margaret Tongue, Marguerite Townsend, as well as Sward.


1 sent to Mona Van Duyn.