Roof Slates and Other Poems
Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1981. Octavo. Roof slate red cloth boards in a pictorial dust jacket with some minor chips and tears, noticable sunning to the front, top of the text block lightly soiled, some minor foxing on the front endpaper not penetrating to other pages, else fine. 273 pages. First edition. Near fine.
According to André Breton, Reverdy was "the greatest poet of the time." A brief run-down: he provided a poetic rootstock for the French avant-garde, founded the influential journal Nord-Sud, was romantically entangled with Coco Chanel, burned many of his manuscripts in 1926 during a ritual witnessed by his closest friends, was a partisan resistance fighter hunting Nazis in occupied France, later converted to Catholicism, moved to the country to live quiet. Almost mystical in their effect, his poems are nevertheless anchored in the minutiae of the everyday world.
"On every slate
sliding from the roof
had written a poem
The gutter is rimmed with diamonds
the birds drink them."