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POEMS (AND NEARLY) [and Untitled]. Two Presentation Portfolios of Manuscript and Typescript Poems.
[San Francisco, January 1915, and ca. 1936]. - Two volumes. [40] leaves, and [42] leaves. Quarto, laid into two folding portfolios (approx. 29 x 22 cm), the earliest being watercolor decorated paper over cardboard, with old calf fore-tips to the upper board, the later cloth-backed boards, the upper board decorated in ink with a small rendition by Dixon of a thunderbird and a small monogram on the lower board. Some modest edgewear to portfolios, but generally very good or better. Two significant collections of Dixon's poetry in typescript, carbon typescript, and autograph manuscript, with occasional corrections, revisions and annotations, prepared personally by him for presentation. The earliest, which includes twenty-six poems, includes a manuscript title- leaf in his hand: "Poems, (and Nearly)," with a small ink rendering of a thunderbird, and is inscribed: "Franc from Maynard Jan - 1915." The title leaf is accompanied by a manuscript index of the included poems, also embellished with an ink drawing. All of the poems in this album are present in either carbon or original typescript, most bearing the approximate or exact dates and places of composition, the latter information occasionally revised or amplified in ink or pencil by Dixon. The earliest poem in this album dates from 1896, the latest from 1914. The second, later album includes no formal title, but opens with a leaf inscribed in pencil: "Betty - I don't believe you will like these - But here they are - it's you asking. M.D." It consists of thirty-five poems in typescript or carbon typescript (two - including the important poem "Jeffers" - with significant manuscript revisions, a couple more with minor manuscript tinkerings, and two signed at the end with initials in coarse pencil, with date and/or place), and three wholly in manuscript, in ink, in Dixon's bold hand. Two of the typescript poems in this album, "San Francisco" (1913) and "Nebula" (1914), appear in the earlier album, the first from a definitively different typing of the text. The latest poem in this album bears a 1936 date of composition. "Jeffers," which bears meaningful manuscript revisions, is undated in this draft, but is dated "ca. 1925" in its published form. All but one of the poems in these albums are printed in some form in the authoritative edition of Dixon's poetry, edited by his widow, Edith Hamlin (RIM-ROCK AND SAGE THE COLLECTED POEMS OF MAYNARD DIXON, California Historical Society, 1977), although occasionally under variant titles or with minor variations in their texts. One poem in the later album, entitled "Japs," is uncollected and may have been omitted by Hamlin due to its rather strident and painfully negative ethnic caricatures. Maynard Dixon (1875 - 1946) has long been regarded one of the most significant artists and illustrators of the American West and Southwest, but his parallel career as a poet is less widely known. Although a number of his poems appeared in the western periodical press, his sole lifetime book publication is the now elusive POEMS AND SEVEN DRAWINGS, privately printed by the Grabhorns in 1923. While his painting and drawing commissions claimed much of his attention during the remaining 23 years of his life, he continued to write poetry until at least as late as 1937, touching on many of the same themes as drove his drawings and paintings, both public and personal: the terrain, people (most particularly the native peoples) and history of the West, with a critical but not wholly unsympathetic eye toward certain tendencies of modernism, all coupled with a strain of physical consciousness occasionally bordering on the erotic. In his Preface to RIM-ROCK AND SAGE, J.S. Holiday denotes the 164 poems collected therein as "every known poem by the artist." The sixty-one poems preserved by Dixon in these two albums span virtually his entire career as a poet, representing over one third of that known output, and the collection adds one hitherto unpublished poem to that number.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Literature, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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