Edinburgh: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1965
5.5 x 20.6cm, 28pp. Original wrappers and typographic blue dustjacket. The inner pages have single words or short phrases printed in an italic font. The text in page order is:
“air/ in blue/ leaf/ blue bark/and blue leaf/ a leaf/ a barque/a blue leaf/ a barque in leaf-blue/aire”
The book title Cythera is from the title of the painting – The Embarkation for Cythera (“L’Embarquement pour Cythère”) by Jean-Antoine Watteau. The painting is usually regarded as highly romantic (in a love sense rather than the movement) and the couples represented by Watteau are heading to board a boat to go to the mythical idyll.
When one reads Finlay’s text the sense is of romance, beauty and of the joy of being at one with nature. The text also reflects the idea of a journey and, finally, the punning of bark/barque and air/aire brings a musical aspect to the poem which might also be inferred in the painting from the stylings of the putti dancing in the air. One of Finlay’s most beautiful books.
VG+ example which unusually is signed and dedicated by FInlay in black in on the inside of the front cover to Maxwell Allan the sculptor..
1 in stock