Silver Flower Coo: word collages by Charles Henri Ford

It occurs to me that my posts on other poets often begin with the story of finding the poets’ books – on my parents’ bookshelves, in a library, in a bookstore, or as a gift from a friend. These memories of finding and reading the works of poets for the first time are lucid as a spotlight and tinged with the frisson of discovery.

So it was with Charles Henri Ford’s 1968 collection of word collages, Silver Flower Coo, which I found in the poetry section of the New Orleans Public Library in the mid-90 when I was working at the reference desk. Since the book was long out of print, I photocopied it.

Unfortunately, a few weeks later the book vanished from the shelves without being checked out. I put a trace on it, but it seemed to have been lost or stolen.

I’m grateful that I was able to photocopy the book before it disappeared, as it was Ford’s collection that first inspired me to create my own collages—first using mainly words cut out from magazines, and later, images alone.

Below is the title page of Ford’s book, followed by one of his collages. Tomorrow, I’ll post one of my own “ransom note” collages inspired by Silver Flower Coo.

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