Arion Lyre

96. Stone from Delphi, by Seamus Heaney, with watercolor drawings by Wendy Artin

Stone from Delphi, poems with classical references by Seamus Heaney, selected and with an introduction by Helen Vendler, with sixteen watercolor drawings by Wendy Artin, November 2012.

Aphrodite, watercolor by Wendy ArtinThe Arion Press is proud to announce its publication of poetry by Seamus Heaney, Stone from Delphi, a collection of his poems with classical themes, chosen by Helen Vendler. The classical past is fundamental to the work of this great contemporary poet, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, who, like James Joyce before him, illuminates his times and his own psyche through the lens of antiquity. Vendler’s introduction, “Seamus Heaney and the Classical Past”, tells us that in Ireland Heaney grew up hearing the Latin of Catholic liturgy, then pursued the language and literature at school. For fifty years, he has translated and adapted classical texts and alluded to them in his own poems, be their subjects his family, the Troubles, astronauts, or the fall of the Twin Towers.

Of Heaney’s versions of classical poems, Vendler says: “Most of all, he is reclaiming, for modern ears, works inaccessible in their original language to the common reader. Although often translated, these poems require fresh versions in every generation. One has only to compare a passage from Virgil translated by Heaney to the same passage in another translation to be struck by the freshness and vigor and pace he elicits from the Latin lines.”

THE AUTHOR

Seamus Heaney, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born and educated in Northern Ireland. In 1972 Heaney moved with his family from Belfast to County Wicklow in the Irish Republic, where his writing deepened and darkened as the northern ‘Troubles’ intensified. Since the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature—“for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth”—Heaney has published four volumes of poetry, The Spirit Level, Electric Light, District and Circle, and, most recently, Human Chain. In 2003 Arion Press published an artist book edition of Heaney’s sequence of 48 poems, Squarings, with an introduction by Helen Vendler and 48 prints by Sol LeWitt.

THE INTRODUCTION

Helen Vendler is A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard. A commanding figure in the world of contemporary literary criticism, she has been poetry critic of The New Yorker and a major contributor on poetry for the New York Review of Books.

THE ARTIST

Wendy Artin is an American artist who has made the classical world, in particular the architecture and statuary of her adopted city of Rome, the subject of a remarkable body of work. Skilled in drawing the figure, Artin says, “The statues of Antiquity are my favorite models.” Eric Fischl, who observed her drawing from live models, recounts, “I was unable to take my eyes off watching her work. I’d never seen anyone capture, with such fluid grace and comfort, the depth of observation of the human form the way she was able to do so quickly and so accurately in water-color.”

Read more about Wendy Artin.

Jupiter, watercolor by Wendy ArtinTHE DRAWINGS

Artin’s watercolor drawings, done especially for this book, were made from Greek and Roman statues whose subjects appear in Heaney’s writings in this volume, for example: the Menade danzante, 404-405 AD, in the Campidoglio, Rome; Actaeon, first Century AD, from the National Museum in Naples; and Aphrodite rising from her bath, 460 AD, in the Palazzo Altemps, Rome. The drawings are reproduced in the edition at same size.

There are sixteen illustrations in all. The subjects are Hercules and Antaeus, Omphalos, Hermes, Coventina, Aeneas and Anchises, Charon, Eurydice and Orpheus, Maenad, Mycenae Lion Gate, Temple of Asclepius, Hercules and Athena, Aphrodite, Jupiter, Venus, Orpheus and Lyre, and Actaeon.

The original watercolor drawings by Wendy Artin may be viewed in our gallery of images. Contact the artist about availability.

To read more, view the complete prospectus (PDF file, 1.6 MB).

THE BOOK

The book is small folio in format, 11-5/8 by 8-3/8 inches, 120 pages, plus 16 unnumbered leaves for the illustrations, a total of 152 pages. The paper is German mould-made Schiller. The text types are Poliphilus roman and Blado italic, based on typefaces of Aldus Manutius used in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili of 1499, one of the greatest illustrated books of all time. The poetry is set in 16 point, the introduction and subsidiary matter in 13 point, both leaded two points. The display type on the title pages is Hadriano Stone Cut, designed by Frederic Goudy. Composition and casting were done by Mackenzie & Harris in Monotype, using the new Welliver computer system rather than the conventional keyboard and punched paper tape to drive the casting machine. Letterpress printing was done on a Heidelberg cylinder press. The illustrations were printed on an Epson digital inkjet printer. The binding has a natural, light tan goatskin spine, with author and title stamped in Hadriano, light brown cloth sides, with an inset oval on the front cover holding a print of an Artin watercolor drawing of the stone Omphalos. The book is presented in a slipcase with the same cloth on the spine and tan paper on the sides, the same as used for endpapers. Typesetting, printing, and binding were done at Arion Press.

THE EDITION

This is the ninety-sixth publication of Arion Press. The edition is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale and 26 lettered copies for complimentary distribution. All copies are signed by the poet and the artist. The price is $1,200. Available.

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IN THE MEDIA : STONE FROM DELPHI

You will find an admiring critical review about Stone from Delphi in the following:

  • "Wendy Artin", by Susan Tallman, Art in Print, January/February 2013. (PDF)

Go to title: 95. The Moonstone


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To view the complete prospectus (PDF file, 1.6 MB).

Edition: The book is small folio in format, 11-5/8 by 8-3/8 inches, 120 pages, plus 16 unnumbered leaves for the illustrations, a total of 152 pages. The binding has a natural, light tan goatskin spine, light brown cloth sides, with an inset oval on the front cover holding a print of an Artin watercolor drawing of the stone Omphalos. The book is presented in a slipcase. The book is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale. All copies are signed by the poet and the artist. The price is $1,200.

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Purchase the book securely online now:

Reserve book and pay offline:

Reserve your copy


View gallery of images.


This book will be exhibited in New York City Nov. 6 – 10, 2013 at the Park Avenue Armory IFPDA Print Fair.