Black Marigolds by Powys Mathers is an amazingly sensuous poem of love remembered and yearned for. The original was written by Chauras, a young Brahman poet, about nineteen hundred years ago but it was in 1915 (while in wartime ‘hutments’ on Salisbury Plain) that Mathers ‘englished’ the fifty stanzas in such a haunting way. To be a young poet imprisoned for having loved the king’s daughter and to know that the morning would bring the loss of one’s head – for this is indeed the scenario – might well concentrate the mind and this is suitably powerful stuff.
I am in the middle of printing the text (in a beautiful burnt orange ink) but I long to get to the images . . . by the wonderful Glenys Cour.
Above are photographs of two of the collage artworks – from which I make blocks to print. This book has a smallish, tall and very concentrated format which seems to us very right for the subject (and we also have some exotic ideas for the binding but I’m keeping mum at the moment!) but is completely different from the earlier book we published with images by Glenys Cour.
This was Taliesin and the Mockers by Vernon Watkins, with an afterword by Gwen Watkins and a commendation by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.
In case you have not seen it, here is its front cover . . .
and here its titlepage spread . . .
and one of my favourite two page spreads.
Full details can of course be found here.