by Cid Corman
with five color reproductions of paintings by Beauford Delaney
EP 6: CID CORMAN, the author here of TRIBUTARY: POEMS, was widely known as the editor of Origin and Origin Press, which published first books by such well-known poets as Charles Olson, William Bronk, Gary Snyder, Ted Enslin, and the first printing of Louis Zukofsky's A. Corman was also a translator of many ancients and moderns, such as André du Bouchet, Philippe Jaccottet, René Char, Antonin Artaud, Apollinaire, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, and more recently, Henri-Simon Faure, Alain Malherbe and Laurent Grisel. Corman was the beginning of oral poetry (improvised completely) in our century. His five volume book of poems, OF, is considered by many to be one of the most challenging works of the twentieth century.
Beauford Delaney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1901. He lived there until 1924, in Boston for the next five years, and in New York until 1953. Corman met Delaney in Paris in October 1954. They saw each other at intervals over the next year or two in the Montparnasse area, and became good friends. Delaney at the time was into his abstract richly-colored woven-paint work. During this period Corman wrote his first poems on Delaney. This series of sustained lyrical poems, each seven lines long in a 1-2-1-2-1 haiku-like disciplined form, focuses on ‘color’ as simultaneously a race and aesthetic issue. They stayed in touch for a time, even when the poet went to Japan in 1958, where he has since largely lived. They stayed in touch for a time, even when the poet went to Japan in 1958, where he has largely lived since. For the most part, the poems of TRIBUTARY were written in 1995. Delaney, who lived a life devoted to painting, continued living in Paris for twenty-six years, and died in 1979.
First edition paperback, January 1999, 64 pp., sewn, bound and printed in Italy, with a two-color cover, five color illustrations of the paintings of Beauford Delaney, and a black and white photograph of the author on the frontispiece.