An unpublished poem by ‘The Big Sleep’ author Raymond Chandler is going to print

A literary journal is printing a beforehand unpublished work by the novelist Raymond Chandler — and it isn’t a hard-boiled detective story.

Strand Journal introduced that its newest challenge will embody a poem by Chandler written round 1955 that reveals the “softer, delicate facet” of the author recognized for his pulp fiction hits reminiscent of The Huge Sleep.

“He wrote the poem after his spouse had handed away and this poem additionally serves as a love letter to her,” Andrew Gulli, managing editor of Strand Journal, instructed NPR in an e-mail.

Chandler’s spouse, Cissy, died in 1954, after which the writer grew depressed and tried suicide one yr later.

Gulli mentioned it was the primary time Chandler wrote a poem as an grownup.

A poem a few misplaced love, “Requiem” begins with the road, “There’s a second after dying when the face is gorgeous.”

The primary two stanzas describe experiences that rekindle reminiscences of the now-dead companion, just like the “three lengthy hairs in a brush and a folded kerchief” and “the contemporary made mattress and the contemporary, plump pillows.”

However then the speaker notes that there are “at all times the letters” that he holds in his hand and “is not going to die.”

These letters will “await the stranger to come back and browse them,” who in studying the letters will get to relive the “lengthy, lengthy innocence of affection.”

It is revealed within the closing line of the poem that, in truth, “The stranger shall be I.”

Gulli mentioned the poem was found in a shoebox within the Bodleian Libraries on the College of Oxford.

Chandler died of pneumonia in La Jolla, Calif., in 1959.

Strand Journal has revealed unseen works by the writer earlier than, reminiscent of Chandler’s brief satire of company tradition referred to as Recommendation to an Employer, which the journal ran in 2020.

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