[N.P.]: [1957-1964]. Original typescript of fragments from Stanford's lifelong work, St. Francis and the Wolf. 34 pages in all, with 33 typed on onionskin paper and numbered at the upper right corner; one additional, unnumbered page on plain paper. The numbered pages form a near-complete series, running from fragments 292-311, and then from 313-325. All pages measure 8.5 x 11". Occasional dog-earing or creasing of pages not affecting text. Largely clean, but with the author's corrections and annotations in pen on 4 pages. A unique and important piece, Saint Francis was a poem on which Stanford worked throughout his life; and it was the source not only for smaller works like his Blue Yodels but, more importantly, the piece from which he drew his magnum opus, The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You.
Perhaps one of the most important unfinished works of American poetry, Saint Francis and the Wolf was an ever growing and evolving piece that gave Frank Stanford an outlet and testing ground for his voice. Though his epic The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You is the work most remembered as his legacy, "the poem itself had emerged from a larger intended work (thousands of pages long already at the time of Stanford's death) entitled Saint Francis and the Wolf" -- and when one examines the relationship between the two works, one can learn that "Stanford had not neglected the tools of traditional poetics, but rather had repurposed those tools in order to create Battlefield. The poem is not a landscape that lacks rules, but rather one for which Stanford wrote his own rules" (Allison). Examining the fragments of Saint Francis also reveal how Stanford tested key ideas, word combinations, and rhythms; it also teaches us how tied together his works were as a larger project. In the present typescript, for example, fragment 292 begins with "a blue yodel of that low born bastard" - where the concept of the Blue Yodel becomes a series of poems throughout his career, and the line itself appears in Battlefield. An exceptional document. (Item #3022)