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Poem said to be by Sir Sean Connery goes up for sale on eBay

07-Apr-2010 • Actor News

It is hardly the type of accommodation you would associate with a multi-millionaire screen legend, says The Scotsman.

But years before he hit the big time as James Bond, Sean Connery was so impressed with his stay in a humble guesthouse that he seems to have been shaken and stirred into penning a poem.

The verse, accompanied by what is said to be one of the earliest Connery autographs, is now being offered for sale on the internet by a collector who insists it is the genuine article.

It is said to have been penned by Sir Sean in 1955 – seven years before he landed the 007 role – in dedication to a Leeds guesthouse landlady named Mrs Hawksbridge who had looked after him.

At the time, the Edinburgh-born legend was a young actor in a touring production of South Pacific.

The seller of the guest book entry – an autograph collector from Cardiff – admits that Sir Sean is no poet, but believes its value far outweighs the rather dire ditty.

It reads:

I must say goodbye to Leeds!

I'll never forget your feeds!

Nor my cared for every needs!

I can't find another line!

To complete my little rhyme!

So it's time I said Time!

Thank you Mrs Hawksbridge very much for a very very welcome stay.

Sir Sean's is the most famous name out of a number of celebrity entries in the guest book – which is being offered for around £950 on the auction site eBay.

Other names included from the world of entertainment in the 1950s are comedians Mike and Bernie Winters and Italian operatic tenor Pier Miranda Ferraro.

On eBay, the seller said: "The highlight of the guest book is a page containing a poem, dedicated to the owner of the guesthouse, entirely written by Sir Sean Connery in 1955 and then signed.

"I'm sure you'll agree that Connery was indeed a terrible poet.

"Little did he know that only seven years later he would assume the acting role of James Bond and become the most famous actor in the world. This is without a doubt the earliest Sean Connery autograph I've ever seen."

The screen legend could not be contacted for comment by the Evening News last night.


Stuart Kelly, literary editor of Scotland on Sunday, takes a closer look at Sir Sean's poem:

Great poetry doesn't need to be serious,

but to be genuinely comical and informal takes years of practice.

Connery isn't trying to be Burns, but he doesn't quite come level with McGonagall – who, for all his shenanigans, was at least trying.

The opening line begins with an exclamation: no doubt Sean Connery really was forced by the demands of the theatre to leave Leeds, but the "I must" is poetic overstatement. The next line reveals that he has enjoyed some good meals there,

while line three twists the syntax like a very clever golf shot, just to make sure it rhymes with Leeds and feeds.

By line four, he is admitting defeat and spins out the remaining lines exasperating on nothing.

What is unusual is the absence of Scottish words and his idiosyncratic use of the exclamation mark. Frankly, the final lines probably contain more genuine feeling and eloquence. Stick to the retirement job.

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