What has been added to our collection this month? Here are a few highlights:
Darkness : early poems of Théophile Gautier / translated by Peter Manson
Edinburgh : Peter Manson, 2018
If you’re fancying some romanticism in your life, you could certainly do worse than this slim pamphlet of poesy. Self-published by poet and translator, Peter Manson, it provides an elegant route into the poetry of Gautier, one of the most significant figures of the 19th century French literary and artistic worlds. Influenced by his lifelong friend Gérard de Nerval, Gautier’s work went on to influence figures like Baudelaire, Proust, Wilde and Eliot. The translator Manson, a stallworth of the British alternative poetry scene, is a trustworthy guide and who could resist this description of day-dreaming poets: “They walk without aim and take a thousand false steps;/they bump into passers-by, are crushed by wheels,/or fall into potholes they failed to see.”
Only Dying Sparkles / Sascha A. Akhtar and John Alexander Arnold
Manchester : zimZalla, 2018
This ‘book’ is in fact a tarot-inspired card deck. We’ve been collecting limited edition zimZalla objects since they began, and this latest is a collaboration between poet Sascha A. Akhtar and artist John Alexander Arnold. Traditionally, the tarot offers access to your ‘higher self’, the temporal nature of existence and for NPL visitors, a very different type of reading!
Four Elements / Thomas A. Clark
Pittenweem, Fife : Moschatel Press, 2018
In today’s world, bursting with information, space for a quiet moment of contemplation is precious. But words can provide that too. This work, by Scottish poet Thomas A. Clark, is the latest of almost three hundred of pieces the library is proud to hold. Produced by Moschatel Press, the small publishing venture Clark started in 1973 with his wife and artist Laurie, it carries forward the Conceptual and Minimalist principles rooted in the work of Concrete poets such as Ian Hamilton Finlay. Aside from its beauty, it reminds us of the building blocks of our existence, one of which (of course!) is poetry.