The Structure of Rime
San Francisco: The Arion Press, 2008. Lobdell, Frank. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Number 198 of 275 copies, quarto size, 96 pp., signed by Frank Lobdell, with signed print (number 19/20) and prospectus. Fine. Item #18082715
Robert Duncan (1919-1988) was one of the most influential American poets of the second half of the twentieth century. Two of his major works were large serial poems entitled "Structure of Rime" and "Passages". He numbered each sequence, publishing them in magazines as they were written, and then inserting them into his books of poetry, collections covering distinct chronological periods. A collected edition of "The Structure of Rime" never appeared, probably because Duncan did not want to close off the possibility that he might compose more poems in that series and preferred to keep them in the train of his poetry as a whole. Twenty years after Duncan's death, the Arion Press published for the first time together the thirty-one poems of the series that appeared during Duncan's lifetime, plus seven poems identified as "Structure of Rime" in his notebooks that he had not published, one published posthumously in a literary magazine in the year of his death, six first published in this volume (n.b., info from the book's prospectus).
Frank Lobdell (1921-2013) was one of America's premier postwar abstract painters, in that he "maintains a spiritual engagement with his work, reinventing and recycling the ideas behind his imagery" (from prospectus); in 1998, he was elected to the National Academy of Design. The author and artist were friends, each greatly admiring the other's work; this volume, bringing together their poetry and art, is a wonderful testimonial to them both in a striking work by the inimitable Arion Press.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full rust-coloured Japanese cloth over boards, grey paper spine label with black lettering, inset into the front and back boards are two black and white Lobdell etchings with aquatint, fore- and bottom edges uncut, two black and white photographs of the poet bound in; type handset in Perpetua, printed on German mouldmade Zerkall Book Laid paper, quarto size (11 7/16" by 7 3/4"), pagination: -95, colophon ; limited edition of 275, this no. 198. The matching publisher's slipcase is covered in the same rust Japanese cloth with grey paper sides, grey paper spine label with black lettering. The accompanying print comes from various editions of forty small etchings with aquatint made by Frank Lobdell from 1987-2000; this print is "Untitled, 7.30.96", image size 4.75" by 6.5", paper size 11.5" by 12.5", medium being etching, ink on paper, signed and numbered by the artist (no. 19 of 20, out of 25 prints (20 + ATP + 2 AP + 2 PP)), with a tissue guard, enclosed in a heavy grey paper folder with dark grey lettering on the front. Accompanying the book is the prospectus, sixteen pages long, with information about how the book came to be printed, photographs of both the author and artist, and reproductions of the artist's work both in black and white and in colour.
___CONDITION: Volume is fine, as new from the publisher and entirely free of prior owner markings, in a fine slipcase. The signed etching is fine as well, also its protective paper folder other than a hint of sunning, still in the original publisher's plastic sleeve. The prospectus also fine, clean and without wear.
___POSTAGE: Please note that due to the size of the print this item must ship in a large box and therefore additional postage may apply; please inquire for details.
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