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Robert Frost

A Witness Tree

Henry Holt and Company


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First-edition inscribed copy of Frost's A Witness Tree to his friend, the poet, writer and artist José García Villa. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1943, and its most famous poem, The Gift Outright, was read by Frost at John F. Kennedy's presidential inauguration. 

  • Robert Frost (American).
  • New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1942.
  • Octavo.
  • Half-title, frontispiece portrait.
  • Inscribed on the flyleaf, “To José Villa / from his friend / Robert Frost / October 20 1943 / New York City.”
  • Bound in original blue cloth with title stamped in gilt and ruled inside five-line gilt border, with printed dustjacket.

The poet, writer and artist José García Villa was born in Manila in 1908, before moving to New Mexico to pursue his studies, and ultimately to Greenwich Village in New York City. There, he joined a community of modernist poets, including e.e. cummings, Marianne Moore and W.H. Auden, among others, and was affectionately known as "The Pope of Greenwich Village." He wrote his poems under the pseudonym Doveglion (a composite of dove, eagle and lion) and was admired, according to Marianne Moore, for "the reverence, the raptness, the depth of concentration in [his] bravely deep poems." His 1933 story collection, Footnote to Youth: Tales of the Philippines and Others, was "the first work of fiction by a Filipino writer published by a major United States-based press." Villa received “numerous honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Philippines Heritage Award, a Poetry Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship and a Shelley Memorial Award. In 1973, he was named a National Artist of the Philippines, and he also served as a cultural advisor to the Philippine government. He died in New York City on February 7, 1997.”

This item is final sale and not eligible for return.

Condition Report

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Browning to integral blanks from inlaid newspaper clippings.

Dust jacket darkened with some wear at extremities and chipped at head, stray spots to top edge.


First Edition, Dust Jacket, Signed




Poetry, Americana, Modern first editions

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