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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clive and the foliate head!

FINAL UPDATE (I think!):  Clive has gathered together the cover finalists.
"marly's book and henry's window"

* * *

Note for people interested in how the pictures go with the text:
John Coulthart (who definitely ought to have a cover opinion!) mentioned not knowing the text as an issue. If anybody wants a peek / preview, the easiest way is to go to “Mezzo Cammin,” where I have evidently published more poems than any other contributor (because I like the publication and the editor.)
Here are some links to some poems in the book from that site: This one includes the poem called “The Foliate Head.” The second poem is also in the book. The first, second, and fifth poems are in the book and, I think, all in the foliate portion. The second poem is dedicated to Clive because he once played Puck (of course!) It won’t be listed that way in the book because the book itself is dedicated to him. (This is a very Clivean project, so I think it the right one to have his name on the dedication page…) All of these are in the book, though not in the foliate section. But they are quite harmonious with the greener poems.

UPDATE:  A new link has been added to the list! See below.
MORE UPDATERY:  A fifth link! Got an opinion? Voice it!

Want to see the cover work in progress for The Foliate Head, my poetry book coming out from Stanza Press (UK)? Clive Hicks-Jenkins is working on the cover, and you may look at preliminary drawings here and here. Let me know what you like best!

"marly youmans and the foliate head"
A wealth of initial ideas.

"marly youmans and the foliate head: part 2"
More leafy green man heads, including a tattooed head!

"marly youmans and the foliate head: part 3"

"marly and the foliate head: part 4"

"marly and the foliate head: part 5:
Three new heads, in color: Clive says he will repost tomorrow, as these were taken with electric light and have a bit of reflection and perhaps inaccuracy of color. But I think you can see them pretty well!

I had a great time rummaging through books on green men while I was staying in Wales, so this feels like a coming-full-circle moment. Clive is doing cover and division pages, and Andrew Wakelin is grand ruler of design. No doubt Peter Wakelin will be unable to restrain himself from an opinion or two as well. Fun! I just wish I could sit down with them all in person once again, under the shadow of the hedge by Ty Isaf...


  1. Yes, I've been enjoying following the sketching out of ideas on Clive's blog - such a wonderful collaboration, as I keep saying!

  2. More green men on my desk today. Then I will be done and we must make a choice. This project has rather energised me!

  3. I like the final drawing (not too aggressive, not too passive). There was also one that utilized the idea of tattoos which looked very interesting. The idea of foliage being part of the skin was interesting.

    This is surely a fun part of the project, both for Clive and for you Marly!

    I enjoyed this posting today!

  4. Susanna, yes!

    Marja-Leena, it is a great deal of pleasure! And I shall go and see what you have been up to in your studio after my morning voice lesson...

    Clive, then I am happy and content!

    Paul, it is always wonderful to see the leaves dropping off the Clivean tree, each suggestive and beautiful. I am grateful to him.

  5. All wonderful, but personally, I loved the one with scale like patterned skin. Once that is in color though, it might not work as well.

  6. Evidently he has more to share! So we're not done yet...

  7. wonderful illustrations. I think my favourite is the one at the top of the first link. But they're all impressive

  8. Thanks for the input, Juliet! Yes, they are grand to see. It will be a hard decision (especially since more are coming up), even holding to one cover, three division pages, and maybe a sprinkling elsewhere.

  9. More images!
    Now I am torn between the second image on page 5 and the image on page 4.......

    I think... the second on Page 5!
    Just..... a TAD 'aggressive'? But the gold is stunningly good!

  10. It's a bursting flood of leaves!

    Rebecca just told me that she likes the composition/colors of the third one in post 5 as the very best and the top one in post 2 as second.

    Man, there are so many good ones!

  11. They are all stunning, but the one at the top of this post is my favorite. Of course, I haven't read the poems, so I don't know which has the strongest relationship to Marly's work. As to the top one: I love the red/green complementarity. It has a primal power that seems very appropriate here. The shapes in this one are more graceful, less thunderous than the others, which may (or may not) suit the poetry better. Marly mentioned the balanced composition in this one as being slightly less compelling, but the cover text could/will add an energetic visual presence that would move things off center nicely. Each of the pieces, in true Clive Hicks-Jenkinsian fashion, is beautiful and powerful. For me, the overarching question would be which of them relates best to the poetry itself.

  12. Ah, great comment, Laura! Thanks!

  13. Of the final choices, I'm all for 1 and 3!
    Still loving the gold and blue I have to say!

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Want to quickly say that I am a huge fan of Clive's work and think all of the images are amazing. So eager to see what you all choose.

  16. Mmm, good feedback, Laura! Thank you from me and Clive too!

  17. Oh, Paul, thanks!

    Just got some notes from Maja Kihlstedt (I and IV) and Mary Bullington (I and V) as well...

  18. I think I like 2 and three. They are all very nice actually but 2 and 3 are my favorites.

  19. Ashley,

    Thanks--good to have another comment from a painter, especially one so married to color...

    Yes, two is quite beautiful, sensuous, and strong, isn't it? Not sure it's right for the book, but... that slightly up-curled lip!

    Three bears similarities with one but is less strongly foliate in color and form. It is definitely more forceful than one.

    We are mulling, mulling, mulling!

  20. Update:

    Oneonta painter Yolanda Sharpe picked I, II, and III...

    Between Clive's blog and FB and letters and this blog, we have an awful lot of feedback!


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.