10 pages from
by Robert Grenier

Introductory Note
by Karl Young

Robert Grenier's illuminated poems, his main work for the last decade, present a number of problems in reproduction, distribution, and, for some, in reading. These poems are written in colored ink, and require color reproduction. Four-color process printing makes them too expensive to produce. Using color xerography, some groups of these poems have been published in tiny editions, and several sets have been shown from slides of the pages.

Several means of presentation will be explored at Light and Dust, none of which should be considered definitive. In this instance, I have presented the work larger than most computer screens, so that they can't be viewed complete. On one level, this scale accurately reproduces the varying pressure of the author's hand as it moves steadily, quickly, cautiously, or insistently. Just as important, in this version, line can't be lost in abstraction. The form of presentation insists on detail, putting generalization aside. I think this will make an important part of their nature clearer.

This seems to me a good way to start this project, but these poems inherently ask for multiple readings and it seems only appropriate to present them in multiple recensions. Others will follow, presenting the work in other ways. I hope that the web will help bring Grenier's illuminated poems out of the small and restricted circle of distribution in which they have moved, and make them available to a larger audience. If multiple presentation also makes them easier to understand, so much the better.

These poems were originally written on facing pages of a notebook, but they shouldn't be seen in too linear a manner. Grenier often lays his illuminated works out in differing rectangular blocks on a table or the floor to break rigid sequenceing, and this is one of the things I had in mind in presenting them on a large scale. A simple method of further reducing the linearity is provided by the arrows on each page. If you'd like you can use the arrows to go forward or backward, or to go to a page out of the original sequence.

Press here to begin.

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