Poetry News

Hey Lennon Fans: You Say It's Your Birthday?

By Harriet Staff

Well, have we got a birthday poem for you! Rolling Stone shared the news yesterday that John Lennon's poetry and artwork would be featured in an extensive auction. Rollick on to Sotheby's henceforth!

John Lennon's original poetry and drawings for his mid-Sixties books In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works are headed to auction. The books' U.K. publisher, Tom Maschler, has held onto the works over the past 50 years and, when the 89 pieces hit the Sotheby's auction block on June 5th, will comprise the largest-ever private collection of Lennon's work to be offered up. Prices for the works range from $500 to $70,000, according to The Associated Press.

One notable work going to auction is a drawing of a boy with six birds that appeared in the 1965 book A Spaniard in the Works. It was later used on the cover of the Beatles' 1995 single "Free as a Bird" and is expected to sell for between $12,000 and $15,000.

Two other works of interest are a nine-page manuscript for "The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield," a Sherlock Holmes parody, and a nonsensical poem titled "The Fat Budgie." The former is expected to go for between $50,000 and $70,000, while the latter could earn between $25,000 and $35,000.

Lennon released In His Own Write, which contained 31 short stories and poems, in 1964. He put out A Spaniard in the Works – whose title puns on the British idiom "a spanner in the works," similar to "a wrench in the works," AP points out – the following year. [...]

Read more while listening to classic rock music of the 60's at Rolling Stone. And if you want to find out how the auction went, and what prices were fetched, go here!

Originally Published: June 5th, 2014