With the Homeric hymn "To Selene" in Greek and an English translation

Lithographs by ENID MARK

Sample pages...

O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb...
                    - Shakespeare

During the winter months of 2005 and 2006, the artist/editor of the ELM Press contacted a group of poets abut her concept for a book about the moon. "Focusing on the landscape and progress of the moon as it comes to view and traverses the sky," she wrote, "allows me to explore the cyclical nature of the universe, a motif central to much of my work." Although inspired by the everchanging appearance of the moon, the artist did not obligate the poets to reflect her visual concerns. In The Inconstant Moon, the motif of the moon binds the lithographs and poems together; the diverse verbal responses create a rich and intriguing text.

The visual and poetic exploration of the moon commences with a presentation of the Homeric hymn "To Selene." Printed in the elegant Greek typeface designed by Eric Gill, the hymn introduces the poetic suite; its translation, presented in Gill Sans, concludes the collection. This ancient homage to Bright Selene, whose golden crown turns night to noon, embraces eight contemporary poems. Of these, six were written specifically for this edition. Two poems appeared in journals at the time this book was conceived, but are previously uncollected .



Facing both the Greek text and the English translation "To Selene" are blind embossings of the crescent moon. In contrast, the eight contemporary poems are paired with duotone lithographs of star fields printed in indigo blue and black. These bleed from edge to edge of 14 x 10 1/2 inch pages, creating a deep space for varying profiles of the luminous moon. This moon waxes and wanes, shifting shape and color from page to page, its majestic progression interrupted only at the centerfold by a detailed, hand drawn image of the lunar landscape, this printed in two colors on black mould-made English Somerset paper.

Dan Carr and Julia Ferrari, Golgonooza Letter Foundry, Ashuelot, New Hampshire, cast the types, 14 point Monotype Dante and 12 point Monotype Gill Greek Caps and Gill Sans Caps. Arthur Larson, Horton Tank Graphics, Hadley, Massachusetts, printed the letterpress on Somerset papers. The lithographs were hand-pulled by Timothy P. Sheesley, Corridor Press, Otego, New York. The calligraphy is by Jerry Kelly, New York City.

The book is bound in black cloth; marbled paper panels, created by Regina St. John, Amherst, Massachusetts, overlay the front and back covers. David Bourbeau, Thistle Bindery, Florence, Massachusetts, Barbara B. Blumenthal, Northampton, Massachusetts and Daniel Gehnrich, Paxton, Massachusetts, hand bound the edition.

There are forty-five hand signed and numbered copies for sale.