Wednesday, September 26, 2007
More decorated cloth covers
The second, The Blue Poetry Book edited by Andrew Lang (Longmans 1891), takes its cover from a full-page engraving in the book by artist/illustrator H.J. Ford:
In the former, I love the repeating motif of the moon/hammock, and the elegant lines of the design; in the latter, I love the big lions and cheetah lolling at Orpheus's feet as he plays his lyre to tame them. The Lang book is a library discard, so it's in rough shape - the old library markings are visible on the spine - but it's still a mighty charming object. And in this case it actually makes me happy that the book is falling apart, because that means it was taken home and read. By children, I hope, who found in this book poems by Blake, Poe, Wordsworth, Burns, Keats - even though there are some poems here that I consider heavy going.
I was flipping through the Tagore book just now and I notice that he dedicated the book to Thomas Sturge Moore. Moore was a poet and an artist, and is famous for his designs of some of Yeats's book covers. I used to have a very nice copy of The Tower, but now I don't know where it is. Shocking, I know. Back to the books...
Melville's death on September 28, 1891, in New York, was noted with only one obituary notice. Sad.(wish I could find a facsimile copy) A genius before his time.
"It is not down in any map; true places never are." ~H. Meliville
Maybe I should scan the covers and upload them somewhere...following your lead.
"A Tuft of Kelp"
All dripping in tangles green
Cast up by a lonely sea,
If purer for that, O Weed,
Bitterer, too, are ye?