From the British Newspaper Archives

Name of Newspaper ‘Graphic’

Date of publication of newspaper 13 February 1926

Miss Mawer would have been approximately 32 years old at this time.

The newspaper article, I think, is not talking about a book called ‘Word-Rhythms,’ rather it is talking about Miss Mawer’s first book ‘The Dance of Words’. The date and the publisher correspond, and most importantly, the dedication at the front of the book is the same as the one re-printed in the newspaper article. The dedication is not a dedication to a named person (eg, to thank someone who has played a special role in the author’s life), rather, I think, a dedication in this sense is a prayer of dedication to the gods and the poem tells of a visit to a temple where she gives an offering of a silk robe that she had made. (As an aside, the students of Greek dance in the Ginner-Mawer School wore silken tunics.)

This newspaper column carries on from the previous paragraph, which is not visible, except for the words “Hunting and Les’tershire’ (sic) still means the same.”
“Everybody may not go hunting in the Shires but everybody dances nowadays. Not, however, as the ancient Greeks did, making the arts of the dance and of poetry reliant upon each other.
An unusual book, based on this classic tradition, has been written Miss Irene Mawer as ‘Word-rhythms,’ and is published by Dent.
‘This book,’ says Miss Mawer ‘is a small attempt to render into words some of the fundamental movements of the Revised Greek Dance, together with certain nature rhythms, the study of which has always lain at the foundations of pure dancing.’
The poetic quality of the ‘Word-rhythms’ may be judged from the dedication in which, surely, there is the touch of true poetry:

I saw an altar, white against a sapphire sky,
Lit by very lonely stars.
Because the stars were very far and great,
I brought a little flaming lamp, and laid it on the step,
For comradeship.

I saw a Temple, gold against the vaulted blue,
Bathed in deep and glorious light.
Because the sun beat down majestically,
I wove a silken robe, and laid it in a shadow,
Very reverently.

I saw a pillar black against an opal night,
And the moon hung in an eternity of space.
Because the moonlight was so cold and passionless,
I took a flower of Hera, and laid it in the dark,
That I might pray.

Author: Janet Fizz Curtis

Janet Fizz Curtis is trained in the Irene Mawer Method of Mime and Movement and is now writing a book about the life of Irene Mawer.

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