Friday, November 19, 2010

Chapbooks: Poetry as Artifact

Chapbooks, a poetry card, and a rock.
Today for Poetry Friday, I'd like to offer the idea of poetry as artifact. Chapbooks are a collaborative work between poet and press. The print runs are usually quite small; the books are often hand sewn. They are small treasures. Nobody gets rich off of chap books. Here, clockwise from midnight are little slices from each of the books pictured above...

Weeding the Duchess: a Cartoon by Sarah Maclay. Black Stone Press, 1979.

 Asleep, she looks like a shrimp.

The Glow by Robert Wrigley. Owl Creek Press, 1982.

Now there are no fireflies. Once
there were, and we caught them. Children, our white sweater glinting
in the dusk, chasing after other children.
They seemed that way, children
or the very old, dottering in slow flight.

--from "Fireflies"

A Mirror to the Safe by Greg Keeler. Limberlost Press, 1997.

Come to the water," they say,
"where gravity means sound."
Ah, the ghosts lift
their necks from drinking,
and their eyes burn softly
with forgiveness.
--from "A Small Death"

The Donkeys Postpone Gratification by Corinne Demas. Finishing Line Press, 2009.

The leaves of the shag bark maple
glowed hot red against pale sky
then fell. Red stars, everywhere
The donkeys waked on the

--from "The Donkeys in October Wind"

Reading the Weather by Bonnie Cochrane Hirsch. Confluence Press, 1982.

The crow sings his own song in his own tree.
His song is black silence. More sound would be
one flake on a snow drift. The starling throng
proclaim that all the other trees belong
to starlings. The squirrel, the absentee

landlord of the elm, is now a refugee

--from "Crow Rondeau"

"In Montsouris Park" by Carolyn Pettit Pinet (a card not a chapbook in this case...)

They say the French
touch more
but here

only shadows
grope for each
other, slip,

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Random Noodling. Please visit there for links to poems, thoughts on poetry, and virtual noodles.
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