Thursday, April 7, 2011

Early American Poets

We are going to miss our built-in bookcases when we move.
These shelves hold poetry books, mostly old ones.

One of my favorite books when I was young was The Best Loved Poems of the American People.  My aunt had received a copy of this book as one of her Book of the Month Club selections.  I can remember where I was standing when she first read to me, Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe.  It made such an impression on me.  When Clint first became my pen pal I learned he, too, loved the early American poets.  I had no idea of some of the poetry books in his collection until we got married.

This book is a favorite one of mine, from looking at
and feeling the woodcut images, I can feel the raised
paint and embossing.

American artist, Gustave Baumann (1881-1971), was known as an
 American Master of Color Woodblocks.

This is the woodblock print for the
month of April in the book.

The book is dated 1912.

I just love looking at these books,
what beautiful covers.

Early 1900s.

American poet Eugene Field's copies of the works of James
Whitcomb Riley.  This collection is notarized and
 belonged to Eugene Field, II, the son of
poet Eugene Field.

Eugene Field was mostly known as a children's poet.
One of his most famous works is Wynken,
Blynken and Nod.

I can't imagine putting these books in a moving van,
these will travel with me in the car.  :-)

This book page was hand lettered and handpainted.

Shown above is an original watercolor painting.
This is my all time favorite book of all the poetry books.
It is full of original handpainted watercolor paintings by
American and English artists. This is volume I of XV volumes.

The notary embossed seal can barely be seen
 in this photo.

Someday I would like to do research on
all the artists who contributed to this book.
It is hard to believe these are tiny
original paintings in the book.


Clint said...

It is a pretty special collection. They don't make books like these any more. Individually handcrafted and paintings that are originals. These days, you just open up your Kindle and voila!

Shady Del Knight said...

Clint took the words right out of my fingertips, Cindy. Imagine how much we stand to lose if future generations do all of their reading with Kindle? A sterile electronic slab cannot deliver the range of sensory delights experienced when you pick up and read a hardbound book: the weight, the mass, the texture, the smell and the sound of pages turning. There's deep satisfaction in devouring a real book. I hope (and Dunder Mifflin hopes) that they never stop making them! Hope you're feeling 100%, dear friend!

Cindy Ellison said...

Shady, you and Clint are right. I like the way the books were described, appealing to all the senses. I know I need to adopt some of the 21st Century ways, I may own a Kindle someday but I will never lose my love of books. It is terrible to think of all the art and illustrations that will be missed from the pages of a book. I know a small screen can't do justice to displaying these images.

We have a saying around the Ellison household: If you loan a book, there's an excellent chance you will never see it again. I can't imagine someone asking, "Can I borrow your Kindle? :~)

Anonymous said...

wow! You have a treasure in those books! Beautiful! You lucky-duck, you :-)
love you Cindy