In November, I began talks with the folks at Hot Air Press to reprint a limited edition broadside of the Francis Hopkinson poem “Ode” for a July 2015 release. The poem celebrates the ratification of the Constitution and was printed by Matthew Carey and distributed in the crowd from a float prepared by local and regional printers and bookbinders during the Grand Federal Procession on July 4, 1788, held in Philadelphia. A copy of the original broadside printed by Matthew Carey is on display at the Library of Congress. As talks developed, we experimented with one of my own poems during the holiday break: “For the Crows.”
“For the Crows” was written while I was still living in Wilmington, DE, in the house formerly owned by author and artist Katharine Pyle. In the summer of 2012, I started outlining a poetry chapbook entitled Wonder Clock, inspired by the book of the same title co-written by Katharine and her famous brother Howard Pyle, but was abandoned when I moved to Baltimore and began my doctoral work at the end of year. (A short slideshow sampling Katharine Pyle’s work appears below.)
The poem began as an admittedly short-sighted fable, an allegory that portrayed relationships between young and old–the emerging v. established–in realms of art or academia portrayed as various flocks of birds. The image of the crow–the well-established, conventional curmudgeon who allows only like-minded species to perch near his branch–was later revamped into this poem.
I just received my ten copies of “For the Crows.” Enjoy!
Wisniewski, K. A. “For the Crows” (poem). (Baltimore, MD: Hot Air Press, 2015). Limited-run. Letterpress. 50 copies.