Len Lye: Poems
Poems by Len Lye.
Edited with an introduction by Roger Horrocks.
Celebrating the 120th anniversary of artist Len Lye (1901-1980), the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and the Len Lye Foundation co-publish the first collection of the artist’s poetry. Introduced and selected by Len Lye Foundation trustee and University of Auckland Professor Emeritus, Roger Horrocks, the 42 poems collected in Poems are an exciting glimpse into the literary world of Len Lye.
Internationally recognised for his pioneering experimental films and boisterous kinetic sculpture, Lye’s practice included painting, photography and the written word, a multimedia practice unified around the artist’s declared dedication to movement as an artistic medium.
As a schoolboy in Aotearoa, Lye considered poetry to be “a lot of romanticised junk,” but after moving to London in 1926 he “woke up” to poetry. Lye befriended many famous poets of the day such as Norman Cameron, Dylan Thomas, Robert Graves, Laura Riding and Gertrude Stein. They encouraged him to write because they saw something very original in his quirky style of speech.
Lye’s poems range widely, with lyrical memories of people and places, love poems to his wife Ann, experiences as a film-maker, an intriguing myth about how human beings first learned to see, and an amusing vision of sea creatures and their vivid sex life.
As editor of Len Lye Poems, Horrocks notes, “this collection of Lye’s poetry gives us access to his rich imagination and his creation of myth-type images and stories. He writes about the challenge of film-making and many other experiences. The book reflects his intense interest in movement, his sensuous response to the natural world, his love for his wife Ann, and his whimsical sense of humour.”
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Edited: Roger Horrocks
Series editor: Paul Brobbel
Design: Studio Kalee Jackson
Printer: Pivotal Thames, Wellington
115mm x 178mm