a selection of early poems by John Donne with woodcut images by Robert Macdonald

The poems are taken from Songs and Sonnets and Elegies, the earliest writings of John Donne (1572-1631). This love poetry is intense, rhetorical and energetic . . . using paradox and pun, intellect and passion, written by a young man delighting in life. It includes lines which have become so much part of our language that we sometimes forget that they were written by Donne:

Busie old foole, unruly Sunne,

Why dost thou thus,

Through windows, and through curtaines call on us? . . .



Goe, and catche a falling starre,

Get with child a mandrake roote,

Tell me, where all past yeares are,

Or who cleft the Divels foot, . . .



O my America! my new-found-land,

My kingdome, safeliest when with one man man'd,

My Myne of precious stones, My Emperie,

How blest am I in this discovering thee!

He later took holy orders and wrote religious and devotional poems and powerful sermons as Dean of St Paul's.

Robert Macdonald's woodcut images are equally strong, immediate and passionate, sharing the poet's delightfully down to earth approach to sexuality both physical and emotional.


Editions & Inscriptions

Copies of the Main Edition are Numbered and signed by artist

Copies of the Special Edition are Lettered and signed by artist

The paper is 200gsm Vélin Arches, the type is Justin Howes' Founders' Caslon. The 25 woodcuts are printed from the wood. Copies were bound at The Fine Bindery, blue quarter-leather with sides covered in rich purple papers, with images from the book printed in silver at The Old Stile Press. For each of the 26 copies that constitute the special edition (lettered A-Z and signed by the artist) Robert Macdonald has made an original painting to fit within the book. Also, in a separate folder are housed signed impressions of three of the full-page woodcuts from the book together with an impression of an extra block specially cut for this edition. All this is enclosed in a solander box.

Where Many Shipwrack

Published in 2004

80 pp.

320 x 250mm

Editions & Availability

190 copies were printed of the Main Edition and copies are available to buy at £185 each.

ISBN: 978-0-907664-65-9


Only 26 copies were printed of the Special Edition at £450 each.

Special Editions are not available.

ISBN: 978-0-907664-64-2

Purchase Enquiry

If you would like to purchase this book, please contact us, letting us know which edition you are interested in and your address.

Media Notes