Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1929. Small octavo, 64 pp. Original textured gilt paper boards, black cloth spine with pastedown label, top edge stained black, original unclipped salmon-pink dust jacket printed in black, text block uncut and partially unopened. Frontispiece portrait by Pavel Tchelitchew, three pages of endnotes. Ink ownership inscription, dated 1933, to front free endpaper. Occasional light smudge to jacket, spine lightly sunned.
First American edition, bound from the English sheets, of “Gold Coast Customs,” Edith Sitwell’s fantasy of African and English dockside barbarism, often considered a response to T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. “I have seen the murdered God look through the eyes / Of the drunkard's smirched / Mask as he lurched / O’er the half of my heart that lies in the street / Neath the dancing fleas and the foul news-sheet.” The collection also contains a group of shorter lyrics, including “Metamorphosis:” “For never come they now, nor comes the hour / When your lips spoke, and winter broke in flower, / The Parthenon was built by your dead kiss. / What should they seek, now you are changed to this / Vast craggy bulk, strong as the prophet’s rock?” Owner signature of Clara Gebert, editor of An Anthology of Elizabethan Dedications and Prefaces (1933). A near-fine copy.