Friday, November 27, 2020




— Finlay’s work, both as a poet and as a visual artist, is deeply traditional, in that it depends upon elements drawn from the whole history of Western culture; at the same time, it is deeply experimental, in that the deployment of these elements takes place in ways that are new, unexpected, and demanding. The method of reading each poem is not explained in advance by poetic conventions: it has to be intuited from the form presented by each individual poem.

                                                — Stephen Scobie


A wonderful glimpse of Finlay's correspondence
with a number of poets, including Robert Creeley,
Gael Turnbull, Ronald Johnson, Louis Zukofsky
and the editor of this volume Thomas A. Clark
on poetry and making. Finlay 1964:
"I am now very interested in the idea of using
poetry in architecture, and have designed poems for
large sheets of glass, and for the outsides of houses. . .though 
none of these projects have yet been realised. I am
sure they will, though, one day. I am also very
interested in toys — not for children, though,
but as pure objects. . .with simple shapes,
in bright colours. I would like to do many things,
when there is the opportunity."

There is a spirit here in Ian that only the birds know.

[ BA ]