[Octon, France]: Verdigris Press, 2017. Limited edition, one of 30 copies, with two original mezzotints by Judith Rothchild, all on Hahnemuhle paper, each signed by the artist, Judith Rothchild and the printer, Mark Lintott. The text is hand-set letterpress in Vendome romain and printed on a Vandercook No. 4 by Mark Lintott. Page size: 7-1/2 x 10 inches. Bound: leporello style with boards at either end covered in paper silkscreen printed by the artist, matching slipcase, binding and case by Mark Lintott.
Three poems by Walt Whitman, selected by the artist and printer to mark the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States: "To the States,"
"Long, Too Long, America," and "For You O Democracy," are included herein along with two mezzotints of a sleepier America. The first and second poems offer a dark vision; the third offers a Utopian vision of the perfection of a democratic nation. With these three short selections, the reader quickly understands why Walt Whitman (1819-1892), celebrated American poet, is relevant today.
To the States,
To Identify the 16th, 17th, or 18th Presidentiad.
Why reclining, interrogating? why myself and all drowsing?
What deepening twilight—scum floating atop of the waters,
Who are they as bats and night-dogs askant in the capitol?
What a filthy Presidentiad! (O South, your torrid suns! O North, your arctic freezings!)
Are those really Congressmen? are those the great Judges? is that the President?
Then I will sleep awhile yet, for I see that these States sleep, for reasons;
(With gathering murk, with muttering thunder and lambent shoots we all duly awake,
South, North, East, West, inland and seaboard, we will surely awake.)
Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn'd from joys and prosperity only,
But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing, grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,
And now to conceive and show to the world what your children en-masse really are,
(For who except myself has yet conceiv'd what your children en-masse really are?)
Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever shone upon,
I will make divine magnetic lands,
With the love of comrades,
With the life-long love of comrades.
I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America, and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,
I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other’s necks,
By the love of comrades,
By the manly love of comrades.
For you these from me, O Democracy, to serve you ma femme!
For you, for you I am trilling these songs. Item #11262