tattered sails (after un coup de des)
“Tattered Sails” is a visual interpretation of Marcel Broodthaers’s response to Stephane Mallarme’s “Un coup de Dés jamais n'abolira le Hasard.” In 1969, Broodthaers published an edition in which he replaced all of the text in Mallarme’s poem with black bars the size and shape of the original’s writing. The resultant text highlights the radical layout of Mallarme’s poem, with reading across 2-page spreads, shifting type sizes and a shifting reading diction. Broodthaers’ version of “Un coup de Dés” elevates layout and structure to the level of writing itself; content becomes secondary to decisions of the tactile treatment of text.
With “Tattered Sails”, I have continued the tactile treatment of this poem by folding the double-sized pages of Broodthaers’ poem (suggesting the hang and fold of sails on the mast) , shifting Broodthaers’ bars in to the heaving beams and broken masts of a ship-wreck of meaning.
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
as part of above/ground press’ thirtieth anniversary
originally produced for the sake of the author’s participation in KANADA KONCRETE, verbi-voco-visual poetries in the multimedia age conference at the University of Ottawa, May 4-6, 2018
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy
Derek Beaulieu is the author/editor of over twenty-five collections of poetry, prose, and criticism. His most recent volume of fiction, Silence, is forthcoming from Sweden’s Timglaset Books, his most recent volume of poetry, Surface Tension, was published by Toronto’s Coach House Books. Beaulieu has won multiple local and national awards for his teaching and dedication to students, the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for this dedication to literature, and is the only graduate from the University of Calgary’s Department of English to receive the Faculty of Arts ‘Celebrated Alumni Award.’ Beaulieu holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Roehampton University, is Banff’s Poet Laureate, and the Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
This is Derek Beaulieu’s eleventh above/ground press chapbook, after an issue of the long poem magazine STANZAS (“calcite gours 1-19,” issue no. 38), the interview chapbook ECONOMIES OF SCALE: rob mclennan interviews derek beaulieu on NO PRESS / derek beaulieu interviews rob mclennan on above/ground press (2012) and single-author chapbooks “A? any questions? (1998), [Dear Fred] (2004), HOW TO EDIT, Chapter A. (ALBERTA SERIES #8; 2008), transcend transcribe transfigure transform transgress (2014), a a novel: 1-20 (2017), tattered sails (after un coup de des) (2018), CABARET (2020) and ONTARIO HYDRO (2023).
To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at rob_mclennan (at) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com