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1937 Williams poem found

April 14, 2005|From Associated Press

A previously unpublished poem by Tennessee Williams, described as having been "written out of absolute, complete despair," has been discovered in his blue test booklet from a college course in 1937.

The 17-line poem, titled "Blue Song," has been acquired by Washington University in St. Louis, where Williams, as a student in his mid-20s, plummeted into depression before fleeing the city he said he despised.

The poem, penciled in an exam booklet for a Greek class he was failing at the university, speaks to "a loss of identity," said Henry Schvey, the Washington University professor and Williams scholar who found the poem and test booklet last March at Faulkner House Books in New Orleans.

He immediately arranged for the school to acquire the find -- which he said is significant -- for several thousand dollars. He is in the process of having the poem published.

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