9 x 3 x .25 inches
Open edition; first printing of 17 copies, signed
I depart as air . . . I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my flesh in eddies and drift it in lacy jags.
I bequeathe myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop some where waiting for you.
The book is of a size which may be held in the hands and read while turning pages, or displayed out of its wrapper for the full painting. The pages make interesting use of the writing in the landscape, for instance, the fold breaks “bequeathe love” into “the love” on one page spread. The landscape writing was made in the wet paper before paint was applied, allowing it to become the land, sky and wind of the earth.
This concertina-folded book is reproduced from watercolor painting and calligraphy by the hand of the artist. It is printed two-sided with archival pigment inks on Arches Text Wove paper. The accordion book is wrapped in heavyweight handpainted paper closed with a ribbon. True to Whitman’s idiosyncratic publishing in the early days, this first printing is each wrapped with different paper covers, all hand-painted; making use of what I had in the studio.
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