Item #900947 A Canticle to the Waterbirds (Signed). Brother Antoninus, William Everson.
A Canticle to the Waterbirds (Signed)
A Canticle to the Waterbirds (Signed)

A Canticle to the Waterbirds (Signed)

Berkeley, CA: EIZO, 1968.
Photographs by Allen Say. Limited First Edition. Hardcover.

#130 of a limited first separate printing of 200 copies signed by both poet and photographer and printed by Lawton and Alfred Kennedy of San Francisco. An additional 2000 unsigned copies were bound in paper.

On his inspiration for the writing of The Waterbirds Antoninus quotes from The Dictionary of Symbols: “Every winged being is symbolic of spirituality. The bird, according to Jung, is a beneficent animal representing spirits or angels, supernatural aid, thoughts and flights of fancy. Hindu tradition has it that birds represent the higher states of being.” “As a boy I followed them through the fields with my heart in my throat, wonder-struck.” As a prospective Dominican monk working among displaced field workers in a Skid Row Catholic Worker House of Hospitality in West Oakland in 1950, Antoninus turned to the waterbirds on the Oakland estuary for solace. “In these moments of solitude, we thought of the men back at the hospice, broken, shabby, wine-sotted, hopeless. Out there on the estuary, over the water, the gulls lifted their wings in a gesture of pure felicity. Something sudden and conclusive broke bondage within me, something born of the nights and weeks and the months. My mind shot north up the long coast of deliverance, encompassing all the areas of my ancient quest, that ineluctable instinct for the divine – the river mouths and the sand-skirted beaches, sea-granite capes and bastions and basalt-founded cliffs – where despite all man’s meanness a presence remains unspoilable, the sacred zone between earth and sea, and pure-pure action, pure purpose, pure repose. Its image and instance is, of course, the birds.”



Item #900947

7-5/8 x 9-3/4", taupe cloth, unpaginated, 17 photographic illustrations by Allen Say. Prospectus on a single 15x19” sheet folded twice with photographic portrait of Brother Antoninus on front quadrant laid in.

Rubbing to extreme tips of cloth, typical glue discoloration to endpapers, very light toning to edges of leaves, clean of owner’s marks, square, tight, near fine.

Price: $125.00