Wednesday, August 06, 2008

rochet embroidered with orphreys

Sometimes when I want to vegetate inconspicuously I browse the dictionary illustrations, the pages full of fish and obscure instruments and all the ducks that look much the same. I’m shown the oriel window and the lobate foot of the grebe. The reindeer looks tame and boxy on paper with its gigantic antlers. When domesticated, the text says it can be a good source of milk, meat and perhaps hides. Nostalgic illustrators like helmets and armor, like the pauldron, gauntlet and lamboy (from old French lambeau). Since they don't do verbs, for zip there’s a sampling of fencing positions. On opposite pages (1634-1635), the seahorse floats beyond the reach of the scythe. Here and there I’ve spotted the occasional marsupial, frozen and -with its offspring- immortalized. Pen-and-ink pictures break up the columns like little windows. They’re big on the shapes of leaves, which indeed can be hard to describe.

1 comment:

Valerie Loveland said...

I grew up with an encyclopedia set from 1959 (I was born in 1975). They had the best illustrations!

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