August 1999

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1999
11.8 x 7.1cm, 4pp, printed black on brown. Finlay's poem reads:

4 Sails

Two Nile sails, two silent

Dream sail denied to thumb and

The down-at-heel sail of the
last Galway Hooker.

The Last Galway Hooker is a poem by Richard Murphy which tells the tale of a failing fishing boat and its path to restoration which en passant becomes retelling of the story of modern Irish history. VG+.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn, n.d. (1999?)

6.5 x 5.2cm, 4pp very small artist's card with a text:


Things can
go wrong -

The lines,
the colours

Finlay compares creating a poem with all its problems with that of painting.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1999
9.9 x 26cm, 2pp, a colour photograph of the fields around Little Sparta by Pia Maria Simig. The image is overlaid with the title "THE FLUTED LAND" which comes originally from German literature (which Pia would know well). The quotation refers to the undulation of the fields, the ploughing of the earth but also to the music Pan would play in a mythical arcadian land. VG+.


Glasgow: Wax366, 2000
14 x 10.2cm, 16pp plus printed wrappers. String bound. Artist's book with a number of concrete poems made up from the mixed up letters of well known biscuit types such as Garibaldi, Rich Tea, Digestive, Custard Cream, Bourbon, Malted Milk and Ginger Nut. Of course biscuits are known to break up into small pieces. Small limitation. This example is signed by the artist on the last page. VG+.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1999
6.2 x 19.7cm, 4pp, black on white card with light blue and green abstract drawing by Stephen Duncalf. Internally Finlay has the words "WESTERN APPROACHES"

The drawing seems to be of a highly abstract side of a battleship painted in the dazzle style which was a form of camouflage during the battle of the Atlantic. Such ships would sail east to west as escorts - approaching Britain with conveys bringing supplies. VG+


Magdeburg: Bundesgartenschau/Wild Hawthorn Press, 1999
18.5 x 17.8 (folded size), gate-fold artist's card (with double fold sides) with a drawing of a sheep's fold by Laurie Clark printed brown on light beige card stock. A proposal for a former military training ground in Germany, Finlay proposes a stone built old fashioned shipfold with gate that visitors are welcome to enter. On the stone is a title of a Salmuel Palmer etching "Folding the last sheep" (a text used by both Finlay and more often by Thomas A. Clark) and on the gate are the carved words :SHepherd's song"). The text is also found in German on the card. This is both artist's card and proposal but we have placed it (as has the Press) in the latter category). VG+.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1999
6.5 x 7.5cm, 4pp, black on grey card with a text:


"Tallies - slips bearing the names of fishing boats and placed on top of their boxed catch - are all mechanically printed, except one to which the name has been added in an unselfconscious hand." then there is a box with a reproduced handwritten name "PLOUGH" in it. Below is
Luke 9:62.

Finlay has quoted that biblical passage before - it means to be optimistic and not look back. The handwritten tally may indicate that someone could not afford printing but it is left "unsubconscious"ly amidst the more expensive tallies. Additionally the name Plough reminds one of the Christian metaphor of fishing for men but with Finlay's often equivalence of farming the land and the sea. VG+.