Item #305 A Ship of Leaves; | Twelve Poems | Selected and Translated by Geert Lernout. Hans Lodeizen.
A Ship of Leaves; | Twelve Poems | Selected and Translated by Geert Lernout
A Ship of Leaves; | Twelve Poems | Selected and Translated by Geert Lernout

A Ship of Leaves; | Twelve Poems | Selected and Translated by Geert Lernout

[Toronto]: The Aliquando Press, [1982]. 19.2 x 11.1 cm. Four concertina sections tipped to dusty rose Curtis Tweedweave paper covers. Printed paper label to the upper cover. The concertina leaves were folded and arranged to create traditional page spreads, but are printed on one side only; the first and second sections form one side of the structure, and the third and fourth sections form the other; the two structures or sequences of leaves were tipped into the covers back to back to form a dos à dos structure: “as a result of a fine printing conference at Columbia University and a demonstration of experimental book structures by Gary Frost and Hedi Kyle, this book was created to explore the idea of using fold-out sections for contemporary poetry” (William Rueter, The Aliquando Century, BK 53). Housed in a matching Curtis paper slipcase. A paper label, lettered in red and decorated with leaf ornaments in gold, wraps around the slipcase from the spine to the upper cover. Unpaginated [ll. 38 in total, each printed on one side only]. The slipcase is slightly sunned on the spine and its extremities are slightly creased and rubbed; the top and bottom edges in particular are creased, and the paper label is lifting slightly on the spine. Very mild rubbing to the concertina structure’s paper covers. A near fine copy. The parallel text was set in Joanna and printed on Masa paper. The poems in their original Dutch are printed in red on the versos and Geert Lernout’s translations into English are printed in black to the rectos. Lernout’s Lodeizen: An Early Romantic prefaces the poems. The pages are decorated with an arrangement of triform leaf ornaments, printed in pale bronze and gold. From an edition of 75 copies. The present copy is number 24. Item #305

“When he died of leukaemia in 1950, Hans Lodeizen had published one book of poetry, Het innerlijk behang, and had written enough poems for another volume, published posthumously. Although his early death (less than a week after his twenty-sixth birthday), gives his oeuvre the adolescent quality we usually associate with romantic poets of the nineteenth century (Keats, Rimbaud, and Novalis), we must qualify this first impression. A failure to go beyond this comparison has resulted in the fact that Lodeizen’s fame in his own country turned out to be briefer than his own life.

It is one of the ironies of literary history that the tide started to change twenty-six years after Lodeizen’s death. The ‘new romantics’ of the Netherlands and Flanders— writers such as Joyce & Co [Geerten Meijsing] and Jotie’t Hooft— have returned, perhaps without realizing it, to Lodeizen’s kind of poetry. His poems do indeed deal with autumn, evening, the parting of lovers, and the transience of all things— melancholy themes so paradoxically typical of young writers— but at the same time there is passion, anger, and above all an enormous command of language. With his contemporary Gerard van het Reve, Lodeizen shares that rare ability to take everyday words, turns of phrases, the rhythms of popular songs, and brush away the dirt and dust they have gathered. Van het Reve in prose and Lodeizen in poetry isolate these sequences of dead words, often in ironic or sarcastic contexts, and expose them for what they are: the ashes from which new meaning can be born. Lodeizen’s images are never easy but they have that absurd self-evident pertinence often found in Japanese poetry.

My selection is random, but I hope it gives an idea both of the variety of Lodeizen’s poetry and of the coherence of its tone and imagery.” — Geert Lernout, Lodeizen: An Early Romantic.

Price: $200.00

See all items in Canadian Private Press
See all items by