The Eric Gill Edition

The Eric Gill edition isn’t cheap.

It’s nicely bound and all the words are there

but even after looking at it I can’t tell

you anything about the text at all.

Is it in modern English? I don’t know.

It could be in Swahili or in French.

I didn’t pay attention to the text.

Who cares about the text? I’ve read it all

before a dozen, hundred, thousand times.

I was ensorcelled by the vines

that border every page. The blunt-leaved vines,

the repetitious pattern of the vines

that varies, changes, differs page to page;

the black-line vines that Eric Gill engraved.

They all are variations on a theme

of capture and support. The people there

are living, working, loving in the vines.

Elongated, they are stretched out of shape,

almost a parody of people. Still

they laugh and plot, are sinister and kind;

but always laughing, they are caught up in the vines,

and so am I. I can’t escape the vines.

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