The Jack of Spring, Swamp Press, 18 pp., 1980 $15

$15.00

Levering’s first book is a collector’s item, a gorgeous book printed on Japanese hand-made, dyed paper with Taiten leaf over the boards with illustrations by John Vlakos. A few of the limited edition’s numbered copies are still available. The Jack of Spring, also called The Green Man, is a pagan mythological figure associated with the coming of spring and verdancy, whose sculpted forms can still be seen in old British chapels and shrines. The poems in this green book are paeans to outdoor work among plants and rain.

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Levering’s first book is a collector’s item, a gorgeous book printed on Japanese hand-made, dyed paper with Taiten leaf over the boards with illustrations by John Vlakos. A few of the limited edition’s numbered copies are still available. The Jack of Spring, also called The Green Man, is a pagan mythological figure associated with the coming of spring and verdancy, whose sculpted forms can still be seen in old British chapels and shrines. The poems in this green book are paeans to outdoor work among plants and rain.

Cuckoos call-in Spring / From roofs and branches / Growing from Green Man’s / Carved moustache / The heavy-lidded corbel dweller / Wakes to other springs / As Burry-boy with seed-husks / Sewn on his clothes /Sacrificed for dying plants / Who rose again on May Day / As Shrub-Man in a wooden cage /Rolled through the streets / Shooting fireworks / The chimney-sweeps crying-out /As they paraded beneath /Oh Jack-of-Spring / The mandrake Man with radish thumbs / Awake

from “Prologue”