Parallel Voices

Ancient Chinese Poetry / Contemporary Western Poetry
With Seven Lithographs by Roberta Delaney
Massachusetts: Roberta Delaney, 2008. Edition of 10.

10.5 x 12" closed; 9 triptychs. Text letterpress printed by John Kristensen. Set in Optima type and printed on Rives BFK paper. Lithographs printed by Carolyn Muskat. Design and illustrations by Roberta Delaney. Signed and numbered on the colophon by the artist. Laid in cloth-covered clamshell box.

Roberta Delaney: "Many poems I have included in my various books have been translations. Neither music nor the visual arts have this avenue to the past or other cultures. 'Parallel Voices' presents my enquiry into the role of translations and how they reveal the essence of being human across cultures and centuries.

"I chose a culture far from my own, Ancient China. These poems have been translated many times through many dynasties as well as other languages. Contemporary poetry represents my culture and life. Reading widely in both fields, universal themes started to emerge, war, writing, wonder, death, and nature.

"'Parallel Voices' pertains to the layout of the images which in turn points to the parallel presented in the text of the paired poems. Unbound pages are folded into a triptych and boxed. The viewer first sees a folded page with a black vertical line. The one on the left is the poem from China; parallel to the panel is the Western poem. Upon opening the panels, a square lithograph presents the common theme the two poems share. Short selections of each poem are woven through the lithographs to emphasize this poetic link."