Poems by Mary Stella Edwards

The Cabin adjacent to the beach at Bucks Mills, and the time spent there during long visits with Judith, inspired poems by Mary Stella Edwards which comprised both published and unpublished works. Her colourful, atmospheric and often delicate poems, written in a traditional style, are often stories of love portrayed through the mysteries of nature, especially the sea.

“I find I’ve written at the rate of a poem per month since we were at Bucks – which is exactly double my output for each year of the three years before that. You said that you had a hope that Bucks – would make me write – but it is you and the place together.”

22 August 1925

Mary Stella Edwards wrote four complete volumes of poetry and had many single poems published in magazines, newspapers and poetry compendiums between the 1920s and 1970s. Her first book of poems, Time and Chance was published by Hogarth Press in 1926, with a preface by classicist and intellectual Professor Gilbert Murray. Her diaries and letters to Judith show that this thin, stylised volume of poems was initially turned down by successive publishers until being taken in finally by Leonard Woolf at Hogarth Press.

Contemporary reviews applauded Time and Chance, stating that her poems;

“… display individuality, simplicity, intensity and emotional power… here is a poet who belongs to no school and bears no label.”

T.P’s & Cassell’s Weekly July 30th 1927.

Concentrating on her career as an artist, four further books of poetry, A Truce with Time (1968), Before and After (1978), The Years Between (1982) and A Further Harvest (1985) did not follow until after Judith Ackland’s death in 1971. Each volume is a testament to their relationship and Mary Stella’s grief at Judith’s passing. A large number of single poems by Mary Stella Edwards were also published in magazines including Country Life, The Weekend Review, The Queen and The Lady between 1920 and the late 1960s.