Sunday, May 4, 2014

Yellowed Leaves: Five Poems - Knud Holmboe

"Even the finest thought
is only a yellowed leaf,
whirled down by an autumn gale..."

Knud Holmboe (1903-31) was a Danish explorer, author and poet who converted to Islam, adopted Arab dress, and crossed the deserts of North Africa in a Chevrolet. He was critical of the Italian occupation of Cyrenaica, and his death at the hands of bandits has sometimes been linked to the Fascist colonial authorities. His book about his adventures, Desert Encounter, was translated into English in 1936, when he was compared to Lawrence of Arabia. His youthful volume Digte (Poems, 1925) is now rare.

Yellowed Leaves, our handmade edition, offers the first known English translation of five of his poems, in versions jointly made by Mark Valentine and Mads Peder Lau Pedersen. They reflect Holmboe’s moods of autumnal melancholy, in the tradition of Georg Trakl or Georges Bacovia, as well as his fervent celebrations of spring and the call of the spirit. A Note on Holmboe is included. Jo Valentine has created a concertina book with hand-sewn signatures and Fabriano pastel paper covers, and her design reflects a falling leaves motif as the pages open.

This is the fifth publication from the Valentine & Valentine imprint, and is in a limited, numbered edition of 25 copies only (and 3 not for sale).

Update - all copies have now been taken. We hope to announce another publication in due course.

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