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Prose poem ("Without Death") by Marie Luise Kaschnitz (translation by Lisel Mueller); twenty-five etchings by Michele Burgess on Rives and Gampi papers. Text hand set in Perpetua. Album binding in English buckram cloth. Tray case covered in Maharam Blumen cloth. 11" x 10" closed. Edition of 30. 2010.
This is the second book in an ongoing series exploring the merging of human and natural histories called “The Stratigraphic Archives.” It began with the book Repair (poems by Bill Kelly) in 2006. In Herbarium, Marie Luise Kaschnitz’s poem “Without Death” suggests what might happen if the concept of death and its evidence were removed from all of human literary expression. The thirty-one etchings and book design were inspired by: Nehemiah Grew’s The Anatomy of Plants, 1682, discovered in San Diego State University’s Special Collections Library; the artist’s obsessive gardening on Lark’s Meadow Farm in Grafton, Vermont; lichen patterns found on the back of eighteenth-century gravestones in New England; the ancient stone figure, “The Venus of Willendorf”; and Mary Lewis’s personal herbarium, collected in the spring of 1911 near Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and found intact in a bookstore in Vermont in 1997.