William Edmondson and His Stone Carvings
Reviewed November 3, 2009.
Frances Foster Books (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), New York, 2009. 56 pages.
Here's a book that is as distinctive as its subject. It's a biography of folk sculptor William Edmondson, but the story of his life is told in a series of poems. The poems are based on photographs taken during his life (He died in 1951.) of his sculptures and of himself and of his yard.
The poems are mostly in the voice of the object in the sculpture. Like the sculptures, they are quirky and distinctive and amusing.
A few pages of prose at the end give a summary of William Edmondson's life and fill in some of the details.
Altogether, the photos and poems in this book add up to a compelling portrait of a man who believed he was doing the work of God.
I'm inclined to agree with him.