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  Glyphs and Glyphic Poems
by Edward Sanders
Glyphs and Glyphic Poems
by Edward Sanders

November 13 through January 31, 2013

Book Boat Glyph by Edward Sanders


Made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts & the Helen Bader Foundation.

"THE GLYPH HAS ALWAYS been of great importance to me. For me, a Glyph is a drawing that is charged with literary, emotional, historical or mythic and poetic intensity. When I was young I was stunned by the Zen rock garden at the Nelson Art Gallery in Kansas City. The rock gardens of Kyoto, when I studied them later in books, seemed like living hieroglyphs. After I came to New York City in 1958, I again was stunned by the Egyptian art at the Metropolitan Museum. The hieroglyphs on the tomb walls and in the papyri also seemed almost alive.

When I was in jail writing Poem from Jail in the summer of 1961, after attempting to swim out and board a Polaris Submarine as an anti-war protest, I drew Egyptian hieroglyphic study cards, with the hieroglyph on one side, and the English translation on the back. Later, in the fall of 1961, I studied Egyptian at the New School, and one evening I read John Cage's Silence, in which the line breaks and the placing of multiple columns of lines on the same page seemed 'glyphic.' After that, my poetic life was never the same. The Glyph—visual elements in poetry—came to mean what Matisse was seeking when he sat in his wheel chair with long bladed scissors cutting the paper shapes for his cutouts. I began using Glyphs in my poetry, starting in 1962 up to the present."
–Edward Sanders



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