Thursday, 13 November 2014

There is no Night

Constant daylight creates its own mystery –
the moon is up there somewhere.
At the end of the jetty it’s impossible
to gauge how deep the water. 
A child's lifejacket hangs on the dinghy’s oars. 

Obviously there is plenty of night as we hurtle towards the winter solstice. It's as good as dark at five o'clock. All the more reason to construct a new pamphlet set in the Finnish summer, where there is no escape from light. The earth turns. We spin with it.

It's a simply stitched booklet, blue card, grey font, illustrated with a wandering moose and a sliver of birch bark. Birch was the Finnish stuff of everything back in the day: caps, boxes and shoes, nudging me to use it somehow in the construction. It burns hot, so is the wood of preference for saunas.

The pamphlet came together reasonably quickly over a couple of days of faddling with shape, layout and illustrations. It's absorbing work, trying to translate the mood and themes of a poem into the vessel that will carry it into the world. The final version is the most simple. I had beads, more pages and illustrations in previous attempts, none of which sat right with the text. This clean, sparse feel holds the poem perfectly.

It's a long poem, in two sections, exploring love, of another and of the self, and how that plays with union and independence, absence and presence. It's melancholic, tender and hopeful.

Because it all came together rather unexpectedly I've made five to take with me to Hebden Bridge where I'm reading next week - 7pm Wednesday 19th November at The Bookcase, now the unofficial launch night. If you'd like to pre-order a copy let me know. I can get more made and a paypal button sorted next week.

There is no Night. Illustrated card, Tracing paper sleeve cover with silver birch bark detail. Handstitched binding. £5 each (+50p p&p) here


Lorna Smithers said...

I like the idea of publishing something set in a Finnish summer combined with the silver birch bark (amazing tree) and the idea of creating a vessel for the poem that will carry it into the world. The idea of a vessel seems to fit with that culture.

And makes me think we too often and too easily cast our words onto the electric thrum of the internet without creating adequate vessels for the physical survival of poems as individuals... whereas perhaps creating a vessel means each poem will treated more respectfully, read more slowly, cherished.

Your last one was certainly a different reading experience. Looking foward to receiving this one.

Sarah Hymas said...

Lorna, yes, 'electric thrum' is exactly it! certainly too it makes me respect the poem more - working as an extra layer of the editing process for the poem.

Thank you for the purchase. I'll get the booklet off this week