December 1966

Cambridge: Form Magazine, 1966 24 x 24cm, 32pp plus typographic wrappers. This single number from series of magazines edited by Philip Steadman, Mike Weaver and Stephen Bann - here the third number which contains a section called "Poems by Ian Hamilton Finlay" which reproduced four works = Star/Steer, Purse-net Boat, Line Boats and the untitled but usually known as Planet. Interestingly the "circle" of Planet is placed more anti-clockwise than the print in Linea Sur of the same work (the reason may just be a mistake in layout in one of the publications). Purse-net Boa and Line Boats are less commonly found and there is an annotation by Finlay explaining that a Purse-seine is a "new kind of net that makes an actual ring arund the fish. It has been immensely profitable.".
Elsewhere there are works by Ernst Jandl, Paul de Vree, Kenneth Robinson and articles Charles Biederman, 'The Electrical -Mechanical Spectacle' by El Lissitzky., Great Little Magazines No 3: 'G' with work by Kurt Schwitters, Theo van Doesburg, Mies van der Rohe, and Miklos Bandi. VG+


N.p. (Ceres?): s.p. (FInlay? or Tarasque Press?), 1966
23.2 x 11cm, 2pp plus blue printed wrappers. An unusual artist's book which appears to be hand made and has on the front a concrete poem by Finlay:


then stapled inside is a much smaller sheet of orange paper (Finlay likes the combination of blue and orange - a colour scheme he uses often in prints and books) on which is a handwritten note in blue ink from Finlay: "Happy Christmas and love to Martin from Ian - Christmas '66"
This small book is in VG condition but two stains (brown marks) to the front of the wrappers and some creasing to the top of the sheet
20 x 12.5cm, 1pp hand-typed insert on pink typing paper: "Some questions on the poem, for Christmas Day." listing questions that may be asked of the poem and the writer's intent. VG+.t
20 x 12.5cm, 1pp hand-typed insert on green typing paper: "A question on the questions, for Boxing Day." Some browning to the centre of the page near the fold else VG.

This is an early and somewhat limited run artist's book, one of the inner typed sheets are mentioned in the Murray catalogue raisonne as the second "miscellaneous" item (7.2) but clearly Murray did not know of the rest of the publication.
Issued at Xmas, the poem by listing all of the letters of the alphabet and comparing them to Arcady (the mythical utopian country - a place to strive to live) Finlay is suggesting the world of letters, words and symbols is an utopian land for poets.
The additional typed letters may just be fun things to do on Christmas Day and Boxing Day but are really clues to how to 'read' the poem. And in the second letter how to 'read' the questions.
The hand typed and hand-written aspects of this publication may indicate that very few were produced - it is not unique given that Murray had an example of one of the letters but we have never seen another copy. Murray has this as being published by the Tarasque Press and that is possible but the hand- made aspects would suggest it was Finlay himself. Reading the published letters between Bann and Finlay for the months around Xmas 1966 does not find any reference to the book at all so we are for now flummoxed.