IAN HAMILTON FINLAY

ARTIST’S POSTCARDS

IN THE MANNER OF THE EARLY WINTERS* . 1995

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d.. (1990) 14 x 11.4cm, 4pp printed outer folder with 4pp insert - a typographic design which is part artist's card and part poem in a folder. There are two poems inside on the inner sheet:

Morning
The solace of chill fields.

and

Evening
A broken bow of geese.

Both simple works reflect the style of the Imagists of which Yvor Winters was a key early figure (along with Pound and Elliot) - simplistic and minimal but accurate in the use of language. Additionally both images in the poem are winter scenes - punning on the poet's name and the title. VG+.
We have placed this work as an artist's card because of its promotion as such by Finlay but it could be argued to be otherwise. In fact the Wild Hawthorn Press indicate it is a "valentine" card!

COMPOSITION (HATCH BEAMS). 1995.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
11.9 x 17.7cm, 2pp. Different forms of hatch beams which have different combinations in different boat designs are shown here in cross elevation in a drawing by Gary Hincks. In some ways this is just an abstract composition but it also reflects Marcel Broodthaers reworking of Stephane Mallarme's Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard (A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance) where the text of the original concrete poem is replaced by black rectangles that emphasis the placing of the words and negating the semantic. VG+.

ECHOES SERIES – BILLOW/WINNOW. 1995.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995 12 x 8.8cm, 4pp. Artist's card with two drawings front and back by Gary Hincks after texts by Bridgey Penney (A Catch of Poems about the Shipping Forecast) and Homer's Odyssey (Book XI) - the first drawing shows two boats, one of which is named Morning Star (the name of son Eck Finlay's small press) against a sunrise and the second an oar sunk into the ground as a form of monument. The first has the text BILLOWS PILLOWS under it and the second BILLOW WINNOW. The "pillows" of the first are nets and folded sails being caught by the wind, and the second similar pair of words meaning the wind through grass. VG+.

TWO POEMS (1).

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. 9.8 x 8.6cm, 4pp artist's postcard that show a drawing of mouthwash bottles on the front by gary Hincks. Inside is a poem by Finlay:

Des Esseintes

The muddied
colours of
the mouthwash
cocktails

Jean des Esseintes is a fictional character in a novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans. The character hates the modern world and lives an eccentric, reclusive life in an aesthetic of his own making. Presumably Finlay dislikes the plastic fuctionalism of mouthwash bottles. VG+.

TWO POEMS (2).

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. 9.8 x 8.6cm, 4pp artist's postcard that show a drawing of a republican liberty cap on the front by Gary Hincks. Inside is a poem by Finlay:

For P.E.

A cap
of liberty
with a Spitfire
roundel

In place of the traditional cockade in blue, red and white is a Spitfire (airplane) roundel which is in the same colours (sometimes yellow or orange is a further outer colour). A reminder of the weapon is added to the revolutionary symbol - terror being alongside virtue. VG+.

ARCADIA. 1995.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
4 x 7cm, 4pp black on green folded card. Inside the poem is

ARCADIA
Rubber-powered aircraft are successfully launched over long grass on a calm day.
An image of childhood play with models is seen as an idyll of rural life. VG+.

COMPOSITION (FRENCH DRIFTER). 1995.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
13 x 10.9cm, 1pp. The names of different fishing boats from around the coasts of Britain are arranged in a "constellation" form poem - the names are if read aloud sound poems - Mans Nobby and Manx Nickey, Fifie Skiff and Scaffie Yawl, Banff Zulu and Buckie Scaffie are matched up in pairs for instance.
The names and forms of boats has always fascinated Finlay who lived in a fisherman's community in his early life. VG+.

A MOMENT IN TIME. 1995.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. (1995) 10.4 x 14.4cm, 1pp artist's card. A translation from Virgil's Ecloga (translated by Jessie Sheeler) reads:
BR> And now from the steadings already
smoke is rising: the shadows
of the light blue mountain tops extend.

VG+.

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