Robert Creeley’s Hello (Hawk Press, 1976) was designed and printed by Alan Loney in Taylors Mistake on an Arab treadle platen. The typefaces are Perpetua and Centaur; edition of 750 copies with 50 numbered and signed by Creeley. From the introduction:

Coming to New Zealand in our spring (your fall) of 1976 (momently to be my fiftieth year)—I knew, intuitively, a time in myself had come for change. I don’t mean simply clothes, or houses, or even cities or countries or habits. I mean, all of it—what it ever is or can be. No doubt one’s a poor tourist, so preoccupied—but one needs specific places for specific acts, and if the demand be that one step our into space, that life as we say we presume to live, then best it be a giant step, as far from what’s known as one can manage.

Thank God you speak English, however—no American is quite that daring. My invitation to come was, in fact, from a dear fellow-poet, Alistair Paterson, and it was our common concern for what could be done with English language in New Zealand or American poems, that resulted in the divers lectures and readings I gave, either alone or in generous company, the length and breadth of your pleasant land.

But you know that, as I do—and what seems far more to the point is to cite, here, such senses of New Zealand as stay put for me. For example, the clouds of your country—especially Wellington—are so active and so lovely. I know the wind blows too, often harshly, but those clouds are such a cosmos of possibility. Then there’s New Zealand light—intense, clear, particularizing, ruthless, unlike any I’ve ever previously known. In my own concerns, it brought all things factually to stand in the light, and that’s where finally one wants to see them.


Post a Comment