Emanuel Morgan (Witter Bynner), "Opus 6"

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Emanuel Morgan (Witter Bynner), "Opus 6"

25.00

Letterpress broadside of poem by Emanuel Morgan, the pen name of early 20th century poet, Witter Bynner. Hand set with traditional metal type in Eve Heavy, Bodoni Campanile, Engravers Old English and Gothic Condensed No. 529. Dimensions: 7 x 9.75 inches. Printed on a 1914 Chandler & Price 12x18 platen press. Features a photo-etching by Jinny Pearce based on an image captured at San Francisco's Musée Mécanique - one of the world's largest collection of early 20th century penny arcade games and instruments. Number one in the Thyrsus Press Spectric Poetry Series. Limited edition of 60 copies.

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The Spectric poets were a fabulous myth concocted by a poetically inclined Harvard aesthete (and friend of the mystic  Khalil Gibran) named Witter Bynner [Emanuel Morgan] and his friend and fellow Harvard grad, Arthur Davison Ficke [Anne Knish].  They were later joined by Marjorie Allen Seiffert, who wrote under the name Elijah Hay. In 1916 they produced an eponymous book of poetry that created quite a stir in experimental poetry circles of the day. The hoax was not fully revealed until 1918. Their aim was to mock the pretensions of such pre-WWI modernist movements  as the Imagists and Vorticists, as well as their continental compatriots, the Futurists and Dada poets. However, once the hoax was finally revealed and the poets began to publish and promote their "own" poetry in honest sincerity, most critics were not shy in advancing the belief that their parodic verses were superior to their official efforts. Bynner himself could not entirely disagree, remarking: “Once in a while we think so ourselves.” Thyrsus Press applauds the efforts of these determined malcontents and wishes that other people would as well.