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Cindy Tonkin - January 29, 2021

This piece is old – i believe around 2016. It began as a watercolour (the blue bits). Then I glued a small image of jewelry and expanded it. It’s now a one page book / leperello. Finally I added in an e.e.cummings poem. I do like books this small – something that fits in the palm of the hand is so lovely.

The poem is from a set of poems called The Gladdest Thing.

The whole poem goes

You shall above all things be glad and young
For if you’re young, whatever life you wear

It will become you, and if you are glad
whatever’s living will yourself become.
Girl boys may nothing more than boy girls need:
I can entirely her only love

Whose any mystery makes every man’s
flesh put space on, and his mind take off time

That you should ever think, may god forbid
and (in his mercy) your true lover spare:
for that way knowledge lies, the foetal grave
called progress, and negation’s dead undoom.

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance

— e.e. cummings

The last two lines are the lines you find in this book.

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