please take care of this book - the parable of topsy

 There are twenty-four photographs in total in 'please take care of this book', each reflecting the sentiment of its accompanying poem. Taken in a variety of natural outdoor settings, the featured book is one of the many often discarded in a second hand bookshop. As an author knowing the time, love and energy that is required to write a book, as well as the sense of jubilation when it is completed, these dilapidated books are literary orphans waiting to be re-homed on a shelf that will display them with pride. 

 

In essence the photographs are a series of 'selfies', depicting the variety of emotional responses brought to the tale by the poems. The rise and fall of the love story in the poetry is mirrored by the beauty and tragedy of the books' self-portraits. Below are thumbnails of the actual illustrations, which of course you can enjoy in full size with the accompanying poetry in the hard copy. 

the beginning

In the Beginning section of 'please take care of this book', the hero of this tale enjoys all the beauty, aspiration and fecundity that comes at the start of a delightful love affair. From peeping through an old fence to the sunshine beyond, to the company of spring blossoms and strawberries all feels harmonious and even triumphant.

the middle

As the story develops the photographs still have a sense of positivity about them, albeit tinged with a hint of confusion. By the end of the section the dark plant pot, which accompanies the poem 'The Faustian Pact', signals that a tragedy is about to unfold..

the end

From the opening photograph in this section where the poem 'slippage' is depicted, with the book awkwardly set on a piano which has a melting key, the sense of disharmony and discomfort in 'the end' section is quickly introduced. A sense of isolation, sorrow and even pain builds through both the poems and the photographs, culminating in 'the book with no ending'. These are the only photographs where the books' pages are animated.