Artist’s Postcards

Edinburgh: Wild Hawthorn Press, 2006
19 x 8cm, 2pp card. This is the memorial card given out at the public memorial service for Ian Hamilton Finlay in Greyfriars Kirk. The front of the card reproduces a painting of flowers called HOROLOGE DE FLORE - which is a flower clock. Time having run out for the poet. This is, to our mind, the last of the "official" cards released by the Press although some were released posthumously as part of exhibitions or as fund=raising efforts. VG+.

...

N.p: n.p., n.p.
17 x 12.3cm, 1pp card. Printed blue on white this is a later printing in card form of an early Finlay poem.

THE BOAT'S

inseparable ripples

The poem was one of the first two-word poems first considered in 1967 but this is almost certainly a posthumous reprint of the work but we do not know exactly the date. It was perhaps printed for a posthumous exhibition of Finlay's work. Until we identify it we will place it as an artist's postcard work.VG+.

...

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 2001
4.4 x 7.5cm, 4pp, Artist's card issued as a Christmas card - names of five boats Christina-11, Christmas Rose, Columbus, Corina-II and Conucopia and their port registration symbols are reproduced from a list elsewhere. The name of Christmas Rose is highlighted in pink. Other Xmas cards and prints have emphasis this boat as a symbol of the festive season. VG+.

...

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 2001
12.6 x 2.7cm, 4pp, black on orange card with internally four Finlay poems each considering aspects of a fishing village and community - such as:

CHANGE OF USE

rain-filled
September boats
becoming ponds
VG+

...

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 2000
8 x 17.9cm, 4pp artist's card with a landscape drawing by Gary Hincks. Internally there is a poem by Finlay:

THE OTHER WAY TO EDINBURGH

(Farmsteads, streams,
serious woods),

the rainstorm's portcullis
closes the view.

One of a number of such cards with detailed illustrations of poems, in the same dramatic style, by Hincks all published in the same year. Finlay's reference to the rainstorm's portcullis is the raging rain coming down in sheets that look like vertical lines on the horizon. VG+.

...

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1999
15 x 10.7cm, 2pp, black on white card with a text:

l'invitation
de ce grand
espace blanc

Beken of Cowes was a photographer who specialised in marine photograph in the Solent and around the Isle of Wight. The "invitation to a large white space" is from a letter by Stephan Mallarme - one of the most important of concrete poets who used space to make meaning in his works. The comparison between the poet's work and the photography of seascapes is at the heart of this work. VG+

...

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1999
6.3 x 6.3cm, 4pp, printed black on blue. A drawing of an American warplane is joined by Finlay's poem internally:

Model

Port aileron down,
Starboard aileron up,
Slight left rudder -
Now it should fly straight!

Finlay describes a way in which an actual plane might guide itself through the air but at the end of the poem one realises the description is really the last alteration of the parts of the model he has just built. VG+.

...

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1999
7.3 x 7.3cm, 4pp, printed black on blue. A drawing of a cherry stone being flicked away by a finger is on the front. On the back Finlay notes that the German flying bombs, FZG 76, V-1 or doodle bugs were codenamed "Kirschkern" - which means cherry stone. These were rocket propelled and once launched there was no control of the missile - much as one find a flicked cherry stone when sent away in such manner. VG+

...

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
turtle-doves.

Dream sail denied to thumb and
forefinger.

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:

POEMS

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+.

...

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+

...