Friday, February 27, 2009

"Forsythia" by Mary Ellen Solt

A friend posted a picture of the forsythia arrangements in her well-appointed abode on her equally well-appointed blog and it reminded me of a collection of concrete poetry (not An Anthology of Concrete Poetry, ed by Emmett Williams, published by Something Else Press, as I thought after perusing it at the library. It was a smaller book with a lot of of the same material.) This poem was on the cover of that book that I found on my father's bookshelf when I was 8 or so, and I buried myself in that book. Now I need to know what that book was.

According to the Anthology, Solt utilized the Morse code definitions of each letter as the stems of the forsythia branches.


  1. I'm pretty sure that the book you're looking for is called "Concrete poetry; a world view" by Mary Ellen Solt. This book does have the 'Forsythia' poem on its cover.

    The book is out of print, rare, collectible, expensive.

    Luckily, the complete text has been published at UbuWeb (only one of the best websites ever). Take a look at

    Is that the book you were looking for?

  2. Dylan - that might be it. I don't remember there being introductory essays but then at that age I would have skipped over them. The book was very slight, under 100 pages I know.

    The two other poems I remember from it are one that just had the word "ubiquity" repeated over and over in a block and a funny one about school: school is a never-ending maze of....
    that wandered all over the page. I think even memorized it at one point.

    Thanks for the help and the link. I've spent a lot of time in Ubu's sound and video files and the Fluxus archives but there is always more to find there.

  3. Dylan - also, smart looking lit magazine you have there!