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Bibliographic InformationX

Last Gesture

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Original Source:

The Baroness' poems and papers are contained in the Archives and Manuscripts Department at the University of Maryland Libraries. Complete papers cover the period from 1917-1933 and consist of manuscripts, drafts, notes, correspondence, drawings and photographs.

Textual transcription and analysis of the seven poems encoded here were undertaken in Fall 2003 by graduate students in William H. Sherman's English 601 class, "Literary Research and Critical Contexts."

Text editing of ""Last Gesture" was performed by Michele Von Euw.

Witness a1: Last Gesture (Memory to "Ernest"– – E.H.) ()
Witness a2: LAST gESTURE: TO MYSELF () ()
Witness a3: LAST gESTURE ()
Witness a4: LAST gESTURE ()
Witness a5: Untitled ()
Witness a6: TREAT ()

Textual Notes: There are six versions of this poem, listed in the order in which they were found in Folder 64 by the encoder. Witness 1 is entitled "Last Gesture (Memory to 'Earnest' -- E.H.)," witness 2 is entitled "Last Gesture: To Myself," witnesses 23and 4 are entitled "Last Gesture," witness 6 is entitled "Treat," and witness 5 is untitled. All are variations of the same poem. The date of their creation is unknown, and they have never been published.

The following is an excerpt from Michelle Von Euw's transcription rationale: The...transcriptions attempt to replicate the pages from the Baroness's collection. In all cases, fonts were selected to match the originals: Courier New was used to duplicate the typewritten pages, and Bernhard Fashion BT was chosen for its similarity to the Baroness's handwriting. Majuscules were used to duplicate her own preference for printing in capital letters, and blue, red, and purple ink was used to denote where those pen colors were present on the Baroness's pages. In a few places, where electronic duplication was not possible, handwritten inserts were made onto the pages to preserve the integrity of the transcription. In a few cases, an editorial decision was made to keep certain text uncovered: the dedication to "E.H." on page 2 n Encoder's note: Witness 3, for example, was so obscured on the original pages that it was impossible to read in photocopies. As the quotation hints at an unexplained mystery -- and the dedication ultimately makes it to the typed version of "Last Gesture" n Encoder's note: Witness 1 -- it seemed essential to preserve this note for future replications.

A final edition of the poem has been constructed, based primarily on the final typed version (1) of "Last Gesture". A few things lead me to believe that this is the version the Baroness would ultimately want to see published: first, it is the accumulation of combinations of words that she apparently experimented with on the earlier versions, copying neatly onto page 2 her preferred arrangement. Second, this is the typed version, and there is an implied communication (most likely with Barnes) about the product and its importance. A few changes are made in the Baroness's red pen, which have been incorporated by this editor as "corrections," in order to capture the author's latest intent. Anticipating that this version is to be published in print, the red ink markings have been excluded. (If the poem were to be mounted on a website, the electronic copy retains the red markings, which would be appropriate – it's exciting to imagine that after seventy-five years of oblivion, a reader would be able to view the Baroness's work as she did, colorful red ink dashes and exclamation points highlighting the staid black text.)



The following is a brief explanation of Paula Larich's encoding rationale: I coded the witnesses in the order I found them, for simplicity's sake. Witness 1 appears to be the "final" poem, while the others indicate the various word choices the Baroness made before settling on those in Witness 1. The witnesses are often difficult to decipher, and the reader is encouraged to view the witness image while looking at each version. I have tried to indicate where the author changed her mind through additions, deletions, and word transfers, but in many instances it was simply an educated guess. All spelling errors have been faithfully reproduced. The reader should resize the browser window to ensure that lines don't wrap. Most of the encoding notes refer to something in the original that couldn't easily be coded; the reader should refer to the appropriate image for more information. Additions that were subsequently deleted by the author are indicated in green letters with a red strikethrough. Simple deletions appear in red letters with a red strikethrough.

The Baroness wrote in uppercase letters, with the exception of the letters "g," "n," and "q." These have been kept as in the originals. It is easy to see that witnesses 1 and 2 are very similar, the major difference being that witness 1 was typewritten, and both upper -and lowercase letters were used. Witnesses 5 and 6 would appear to be the earliest versions, with the most rewrites. Even though these two witnesses appear on the same page, I have decided to encode them as separate versions. They parallel each other enough to assume that they are separate entities, and not the same one with multiple corrections.



Read Michele Von Euw's essays "Last Gesture" and "Recreating the Baroness' 'Last Gesture:' Hemingway, Hopelessness, and Hats of Birthday Cake."

Additions appear in a green, fixed-width font. Deletions appear in a red, fixed-width font with strikethrough.

Electronic Edition Information
Encoded by Paula Larich
All annotations by Paula Larich

Published by Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries

Researchers can gain access to the Papers of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven in the Maryland Room, Hornbake Library, University of Maryland Libraries, College Park, MD 20742

"Last Gesture"" manuscripts located in Series III, Box 2, Folder 64; microfiche id numbers 4/462-4/467.

Special Collections at the University of Maryland provides more information about the microfilm edition of the papers.

Images and manuscripts drafts of this poem may not be reproduced or downloaded and used on another site without the explicit permission of UMD Archives. They may not be reproduced or downloaded and used on another site without the explicit permission of UMD Archives. Though the intellectual property of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven is in the public domain, all annotations and editorial commentary are copyrighted.


2004Encoding Principles

DTD constructed from TEI poetry base with tagsets for linking, figures, analysis, transcr, textcrit.


X Version
View ImagesView ImagesView ImagesView ImagesView ImagesView ImagesView Images Last gesture a (Memory to "Ernest" – – E.H.)
LAST gESTURE: TO MYSELF n

(The reader will want to look at the image understand the following comments.)

To the left of the poem is a triangle, lying on its side, and inside is written

DJUnA – DOn'T OMIT THIS DEDICATIOn IT IS GOOD POLICY! ASIDE FROM TRUE HOnE STY

Under this is a line reading: TREASSURE THIS POEM!

Above the triangle is a dedication that has been crossed out. It appears to say

"TO ERnST

– E.H. –

Running vertically along the right, top margin is written

SOMETIME I TELL YOU

"[unclear] Y"!


LAST gESTURE
LAST GESTURE
Untitled
TREAT

1 Suns
1 SUnS
1 SUnS
1 SUnS
1
1
2
2
2 Falls
2 Falls
2 FALLS
2 FALLS
3
3
3
3 PAInTED
3 PAInTED
3 PAInTED
4 Gilded
4 GILDED
4 gILDED
4 gILTFACE


4 gILTFACETREAD
4 gILTFACE


5
5
5 FACE


5
5
5
6 Lie –


6 LIE –
6
6
6
6
7
7
7
7
7
7
8 Lakelevels
8 LAKELEVELS
8 LAKELEVES
8 LAKELEVELS
8 LEVEL ORE LAKESLEVELS RIgID OREgLInT
8 LAKELEVELS
9
9
9
9
9 RIgID RIGID
9
10
10
10
10
10 LEVEL gLInT ORE gLInT
10
11
11
11
11
11 gLInT LEVEL n There is a curved line extending upward from "LEVEL" to "gLInT" on the line above, possibly indicating that the two words should change places. gLInT LEVELORE RIgID n There is a right-slanted line extending downward between "OREgLInT" and "RIgID," possibly linking the two words.
11
12 Stiffblue
12 STIFFBLUE
12 STIFFBLUE
12 STIFFBLUE
12 STIFFBLUE
12 RIgID STIFFBLUE
13 Rigid
13 RIgID
13 RIgID RIgID
13 RIgID
13 RIgID GLInT
13
14 Oreglint —


14 OREgLInT –
14 ORE BLInK gLInT
14 OREBLInK
14
14 ORE SIgHT gLInT
15
15
15 RIgID
15
15
15
16 Birchs
16 BIRCHS
16 BIRCHS
16 BIRCHS
16 BLACKSCARE
16 BIRCHS
17 Scareblack
17 SCAREBLACK
17 SCAREBLACK
17 SCAREBLACK
17 BIRCHS n There is a curved line extending upward from "BIRCHS" to "BLACKSCARE" on the line above, possibly indicating that the two words should change places.
17 BLACKSCARE
18 Singed
18 SIngED
18 SIngED
18 SIngED
18 SIngED n In between witnesses 5 and 6 is a column of words, which could belong to either witness or both. Because of the difficulty in coding them, they have been added as a note to both witnesses 5 and 6. The words are as follows (please resize your window so you can view them as they actually appear):

DUMBECHOIng

PINes

SKYSHIP

SOAR

SLIM MASTED

SKY PINESHIP [deleted] SOAR

[deleted] A SOAR [added] DUMB MATURE

ECHOIng nAKED

[deleted] DUMB MATURETY

[deleted] ASOAR [added] MUSCULAR

[deleted]A [added]SOAR SPREAD


18 SIngED n In between witnesses 5 and 6 is a column of words, which could belong to either witness or both. Because of the difficulty in coding them, they have been added as a note to both witnesses 5 and 6. The words are as follows (please resize your window so you can view them as they actually appear):

DUMBECHOIng

PINes

SKYSHIP

SOAR

SLIM MASTED

SKY PINESHIP [deleted] SOAR

[deleted] A SOAR [added] DUMB MATURE

ECHOIng nAKED

[deleted] DUMB MATURETY

[deleted] ASOAR [added] MUSCULAR

[deleted]A [added]SOAR SPREAD


19 Scant
19 SCAnT
19 SCAnT
19 SCAnT
19 SCAnT
19 SCAnT
20 Skirt —


20 SKIRT –
20 SCIRT


20 SCIRT
20 SCIRT
20 SCIRT
21
21
21
21
21
21
22 Slimmast
22 SLIMMAST
22 SLIMMAST
22 SLIMMAST
22
22
23 Pines
23 PInES
23 PInES
23 PInES
23
23 SKYPInESH
24
24
24
24
24
24 PInES KYSHIPS
25 Dumb
25 DUMB
25 DUMB
25 DUMB
25 DUMB
25 DUMB
26 Echoing
26 ECHOIng
26 ECHOIng
26 ECHOIng
26 ECHOEIng DUMB
26 ECHOIng SKY SHIP
28 Craft –


28 CRAFT –
28 CRAFT


28 CRAFT
28
28
29
29
29
29
29 SLIMMEIngPInE
29
30
30
30
30
30 SLIM MASTED n There is a curved line extending upward from "MASTED" to "PInE" on the line above, possibly indicating that the two words should change places.
30
31
31
31
31
31 SKYSHIP
31
32 Mailed
32 MAILED
32 nAKED
32 nAKED
32 nAKEBInE A SOAR HALFnAKED
32 SOAR nAKED
33 Valkyries
33 VALKYRIES
33 VALKYRIES
33 BEECH VALKYRIES
33 BEECHVALKYRIES
33 BEECHVALKYRIES
34 m M ature
34 MATURE
34 MATURE
34 MATURE
34
34
35
35
35
35
35 BODY HALF nAKED
35
36 Muscular
36 MUSCULAR
36 MUSCULAR
36 MUSCULAR
36 MUSCULAR nAKED
36 MUSCULAR
37
37
37
37
37
37 nAKED
38
38
38
38
38 SPREAD
38 SPREAD nAKED
39
39
39
39
39 HALFnAKED n There is a curved line extending upward from "HALFnAKED" to "MUSCULAR nAKED" on the line above, possibly indicating that the two lines should change places.
39
40
40
40
40
40 COLLECTED
40
41
41
41
41
41 SEREnE AMPLEBLOODED
41 AMPLEBLOODED
42
42
42
42
42 MATU
42 MATURITY
43
43
43
43
43 COLLECTED
43 PREPARED
44
44
44
44
44 MATURITY
44
45
45
45
45
45 SEREnE
45
46
46
46
46
46 COLLECTED
46 COLLECTED
45 STERn Stern gRAVE
45 STERn
45 STERn
45 STERn
45 gEnTLE
45 gEnTLE
46 Gentle
46 gEnTLE
46 gEnTLE
46 gEnTLE
46 STERn
46 STERn n There is a curved line extending upward from "STERn" to "COLLECTED" on the line above, possibly indicating that the two words should change places.
47 Ample
47 AMPLE
47 AMPLE
47 AMPLE AMPLEn There is a curved line from the deleted AMPLE to the added AMPLE, which appears closer to MUSCULAR two lines above
47
47
48 Prepared
48 PREPARED
48 PREPARED
48 PREPARED
48 PREPARED TARnISH ED MOON SS RED RIM
48
49 Austere
49 AUSTERE
49 AUSTERE
49 AUSTERE
49 AUSTERE
49 AUSTERE
50 Limbed
50 LIMBED
50 BODYIED
50
50
50
51
51
51 SPREAD
51 COLLECTED SPREAD
51
51
52
52
52
52 BEECH BODIES
52
52
53
53
53
53 SPREAD SPREAD
53
53
54 Bottlegreen
54 BOTTLEgREEn
54 BOTTLEgREEn
54 FROCKED
54 BOTTLEgREEn
54 BOTTLEgREEn
55 Frocked
55 FROCKED
55 FROCKED
55 BOTTLEGREEn n There is a curved line extending upward from BOTTLEGREEn to FROCKED, possibly indicating that these two words should be switched, which would match witnesses a1-a3 and a5-a6.
55
55
56 Beech – – – – –


56 BEECH –
56 BEECH
56 BEECHES
56
56
57
57
57 SPREAD
57
57
57
58
58
58 BEECH
58
58
58
59 Hectic
59 HECTIC
59 Hec tic –
59 HECTIC KISS HAUnTED LOVE SAP
59
59
60 Haunted
60 HAUnTED
60 KISS HAUnTED
60
60 SPELL
60 SPELL
61
61
61 HECTIC
61
61
61
62
62
62
62
62 COLD
62 COLD
63
63
63
63
63 GHOST
63 GHOST
64
64
64
64
64 SCEnT
64 SCEnT
65
65
65
65
65 MOOnS
65 MOOnCUTS
66
66
66
66
66 RIMRED
66 TARnISHED
67
67
67
67
67 TARnISHED
67 REDRIM
68 Toadstoolquilts
68 TOADSTOOLqUI L LTS
68 MOSSTOADSTOOLqUILTS
68 MOSSTOADSTOOL SMELL BCO QUIILLTS CLASH
68 HAUnTED TOADSTOOLMOSS QUILTSCLAS SMELLCLASHES n There is a curved line running over TOADSTOOL and under MOSS, possibly indicated that these two words should be switched, which would match witnesses 3-5.
68 MOSSTOADSTOOLSMELLCLASHES
69 Kissclangor – – –
69
69
69
69
69
70
70
70 HECTIC
70 HAUNTED HECTIC
70 TOLL RIngIng RIngIng HECTIC HAUnTED
70 HECTIC HAUnTED
71
71
71
71
71 HAUnTED
71
72
72
72 HOTREEK Ing n There is a curved line extending upward from "HOTREEKING" to "HECTIC" on the line above, possibly indicating that the two words should change places. CLAngOR CLAMORIng n "CLAngOR" and "CLAMORIng" appear to the right of "HOTREEKING," and appear to be a continuation of the words on the next line, which appear to the left of the main text.
72 HOT
72 RIngIng HOT n There is a curved line starting above "RIngIng" and ending below "HOT," possibly indicating that these two words should changes places.BOOM
72 HOT BOOMRIngIng RIngIng BOOM XRIng
73
73
73 REEK REEK n The following string appears to the left of the main text, and the author has indicated that "COMPOSED" should be inserted after "SCEnTS" and before 'gRAVE" CLAngOR CLASH CLAngORING REEK CLAMORIng CLAMORIng CLASH COMPOSED
73
73
73
74
74
74 SMELLS SCEnTS CLAMORIng CLAngOR PALLRIng n "CLAMORIng" to "PALLRIng" (on the following line) are written to the right of "SCEnTS" and appear to be a continuation of the notes two lines above (following "HOTREEKING""
74 BOOM SCENTS
74
74
75 Composed n The word "SPACE" in written to the left, below "Kissclangor" and above "Composed." It's likely a line space was indicated, because in this version, whenever em dashes follow a word, a line space follows.
75 COMPOSED
75 gRAVE
75 gRAVE gRAVE
75 COLD HOT SOLEMn gRAVE COMPOSED
75 COMPOSED
76 Grave
76 gRAVE
76 COMPOSED
76 COMPOSED
76
76 gRAVE n There is a curved lined extended downward from "COMPOSED" to "gRAVE" on the line below, possibliy indicated that these two words should switch places
77 Livid
77 LIVID
77 LIVID RIngIng n The following string appears to the right of "LIVID." CLAMOR Ing Ing n There is a curved line extending upward from "CLAMORIng" to "RIngIng" on the line above, possibly indicating that the two words should change places. PALLTOngUE x RIngING PALL RIng
77 LIVID ICY
77
77
78 Hot
78 HOT
78 PELLED LIP PED PEAL
78 PEAL
78
78
79
79 KISSCLAngOR n There is a curved line extending upward from "KISSCLAngOR" to "COMPOSED" four lines above, possibly indicating that the two words should change places. This would make witness 3 match line line 52 of witness 1.
79
79
79
79
80 Viril
80 VIRIL
80 VIRIL
80 ICILY SOLL VIRIL
80
80
81 Toll —


81 TOLL —
81 TOLL ED
81 TOLLED CLAMORIng CLAngOR n There is a curved line extending upward from "CLAngOR" to "CLAMORIng" on the line above, possibly indicating that the two words should change places.TOLL LIVID TO PEAL REST PALL
81 MOURnIng TOLL
81 MOURn TOLL
82
82
82
82
82 HECTIC
82
83
83
83
83
83 HAUnTED
83
84 — Clamor
84 CLAMOR
84 CLAngORIng CLAMORIng CLAMORIng PALLRIng CLAng CLAMORIng n There is a curved line extending upward from this "CLAMORIng" to "CLANGORIng," possibly indicating that the two words should change places.
84
84
84
85 Lip Lip
85 LIP —
85
85
85
85 LIVID LIP PEAL
86 Pall
86 PALL
86
86
86
86 TOLL A PEAL
87 Reek – — — —


87 REEK –
87
87
87
87
88
88
88
88
88
88
89 Cop p r y n "COPPRY" from COPPER" found to the right of "Copry"
89 COPRY
89 COPRY
89 COPRY
89
89
90 Moons
90 MOOnS
90 MOOnS BLInD DULL ICE CUT
90 MOOnS
90
90
91 Rimtarnished
91 RIMTARnISHED
91 TARnISHED ICECUT
91 ICY TARnISHED
91
91
92
92
92 xxx RIM S ICE BLIND
92 HALF RIMS xxn There is a curved lines extending upward from RIMS to TARnISHED, possibly indicating that these two words should be switched.
92
92
93 Icecut
93 ICECUT
93 ICYE DULL FAIRY HOSTIL
93 COLD ICY
93
93
94
94
94
94 gHOST
94
94
95
95
95
95 SCENT ICE ICY
95
95
96 Hostil
96 HOSTIL
96
96
96
96
97 Lit
97 LIT
97 LIT LIT
97
97
97
98 Fairy
98 FAIRY
98
98
98
98
97 Blind – – –


97 xxxxx BLIND – – – – –
97 SPELL CUT BLInD
97 ICE SPELL
97
97
98
98
98
98
98
98
99 Mesh
99 MESH
99 EARTH IMAgE
99 EARTH
99 EARTH HEART n Appears on two lines. "EARTH HEART" to "OCH" in this witness appear as a column in between witness 5 and witness 6.
99 EARTH HEART
100 Seeps
100 SEEPS
100 SEEPS
100 SEEPS
100 BLEED iNGS
100 BLEEDS SEEPS
101
101
101
101
101
101 BLEED
102 Limp
102 LIMP
102 LIMP
102 LIMP
102
102
103 Veins
103 VEInS
103 VEInS
103 VEInS
103
103 BL VEInS
104 Lass
104 LASS
104 LASS
104 LASS
104
104
105 Sap
105 SAP
105 SAP
105 SAP
105
105
106 In
106 In –
106
106 BLOOD
106
106 BLEED
107 Fount
107 FOUnT
107
107
107
107
108 Deep – – – – –
108 DEEP – – n There is an "s" curve starting at "In" and ending at "FOUnT," and a straight line from these three words to the left margin, where is found "In FOUnT DEEP."
108 DEEP
108 DEEP
108
108
109
109
109 VAULT
109 DEEP WITHIn
109
109 WITHIn
110
110
110 WITHIn FOUNT
110 VAULT n There is a curved line extending downward from "WITHIN" to "VAULT,"
110
110 BLOOD
111
111
111 WITHIn
111
111
111 LIMP FROM n There is a straight line connecting "LIMP" on the left to "FROM" on the right.
112
112
112
112
112
112 LASSITUDE VEIn LASS
113 Unflexed
113 UnFLEXED
113 UnFLEXED
113 UnFLEXED
113 UnFLEXED
113
114 Fixed – – – – – – –
114 FIXED – – – – – –
114 FIXED
114 FIXED
114 FIXED
114
115
115 — — — — —
115
115
115
115
116 Still
116 STILL
116 STILL
116 STILL
116 STILL
116
117 Wait –
117 WAIT——
117 WAIT
117 WAIT
117 WAIT
117
119 Still:
119 STILL
119 STILL
119 STILL
119 STILL
119
118 List:
118 LIST:
118 LIST
118 LIST
118 LIST:
118
119 "Ocho
119 "OCHO
119 OCHO
119 OCHO
119 OCHO
119
120 Cho
120 CHO
120 CHO
120 CHO
120 CHO
120
121 Och!"
121 OCH"!
121 OCH
121 OCH
121 OCH
121
122 Heart
122 HEART
122 HEART
122 HEART
122 MOTHER
122
123 Squalls!
123 SqUALLS!
123 SOBBS
123 SOBBS
123 SOBBS
123
124 Quiet
124 qUIET
124 qUIET
124 qUIET
124 HUSH
124
125 All–
125 ALL—
125 ALL
125 ALL
125 ALL
125
126 Hush!
126 HUSH!
126 HUSH
126 HUSH
126 qUIET n There is a curved line extending upward from "qUIET" to "ALL," suggesting that these two words should perhaps be switched.
126
127
127
127
127
127 HUSH
127
128 "Cho
128 "CHO
128 CHO
128 CHO
128 CHO!
128
129 Och
129 OCH
129 OCH
129 OCH
129 OCH!
129
130 Cho!"
130 CHO"
130 CHO
130 CHO
130
130
131 "Hush!
131 HUSH!
131 HUSH
131 HUSH
131
131
132 Och– – –
132 OCH – –
132 MOTHER
132 MOTHER
132
132
133 Mother– – –
133 MOTHER– – –
133 M O THER
133 MOTHER
133
133
134 – – – – – – —
134 – – – – –
134 O CH
134 OCH
134
134
135 – – – – – – —
135 – – – – – – —
135
135
135
135
136
136 E.v. n The following initials indicate the Baroness's initials: E.v. F.L.
136
136
136
136
137
137 F.
137
137
137
137
138
138 L.
138
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138
138
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