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img704This 1978 printing of a 1973 book, America 20th Century Poetry: Landscapes of the Mind is a perfect marriage between poetry and photography and little known by lovers of either of the Arts. The editors did very well in reproducing this fine Mark Rothko 1955 abstract color field painting that carries the title Yellow, Blue on Orange on the cover of the book. It sets the tone for an interesting collection of poems and photographs.

Even more exciting for me is the discovery of some major photographers included in this 220 numbered page, a somewhat unpretentious softbound book to look at given the status of both the photographers and of course the poets. It is precisely where the charm lies, in my opinion.

The photographs are all black and white and printed in different sizes. Some are full page and some only fill less than half a blank page. All photographs are on the opposite side of the text. Was there a specific photo assigned to a specific author? Did the editor select which photographs went where? Not all poems have a photograph on the opposite page either. I doubt if the poet was consulted in any way.

Somehow the book succeeds in marrying the photograph with a poem anyhow, and perhaps that is where the editorial secret was. Guess what? When I scanned the book flat with text on one side and the photos on the other, miraculously it scanned only the black and white photos and not the text which is usually on the left. I should have known better, but it all works out. Lots of photographs are in the abstract manner which makes it interesting so shown below are some of them.

The book starts with a famous piece by poet Robert Frost and that is where this post ends.