The pictured editions carry a huge poetic punch, though it would be unfair to compare them as like. The Moth Little Editions were released this month, the Ginsberg is pre-1960 and Hannah Weiner’s books as objects of art were made in the 1970/80s. They are all serious books in small form,a virtue of City Lights and other makers of accessible arts books.
Quite recently I was genuinely amazed to receive four poetry books nestled within one (white) standard office-sized envelope from Moth Editions , and although the books are small they each contain 32 poems. This post is about physical books rather than about code , or indeed the storage and the dissemination of poetry through sites like Kenneth Goldsmith’s UBUWEB , which I have referred to before now here . I carry books around in a variety of bags, in fact , the type of bag I will choose for a day is never dependant on as a fickle a thing as fashion , but upon how big a bag I will require for a notebook , diary, book , ( mostly poetry or biography), and pencil-case and letters (yes letters , I write those).
Poets Dermot Healey, Kate Dempsey, Ted McCarthy and Ciarán O Rourke form the quartet of poets that make up the first of the Moth Little Editions, I had introduced two of Dempsey’s Poems from the series quite recently.
Of course distillation and new formats can lead to the strangest of visual concentrations, such as using QR Code to bring a whole new audience to writers, including to Herman Melville and James Joyce. In the fictional sense, the creation of a Babel Library has it’s own interest and weird beauty. This post is about the mobility and adaptability of small texts, and how wonderful it is to be able to choose a good book like the Four Quartets to bring out with one to read !
The beauty of poetry is that it is highly adaptable to both book and technology formats and thus very versatile.