I Repeat You


I made this small letterpress book of a single poem by Ingrid Jonker a few months ago but didn’t post it to this blog because I used blind runs on the press (on the cover and title page) which is a subtle effect leaving the impression without ink and I didn’t think my camera would pick up the detail.


But I was asked by fellow blogger pviljoen what the objects where on my shelf in the photo that accompanied my last post. As I have only recently discovered more precisely what they are I thought I would go ahead post the short story:


They belonged to my father who died when I was two. I grew up with his art and artifacts but without any knowledge of who he was as a person. My mother was always quite silent on the subject. I always loved these wood blocks and as I was making this book I got the idea to use them. I found out that they are almost certainly Indian in origin and were most likely used as a fabric print, the ends join up so that the pattern can be continuous. I have three different wood blocks in all and hope to use the others some day as well.



15 responses to “I Repeat You

  1. Dear Jessica — You are, indeed, your father’s daughter. And on this St. Patrick’s Day, what better way to celebrate his spirit and his art.

  2. This is so beautiful. I love everything about it.

  3. What an amazing memorial.

  4. I’m pleased I mentioned the woodblocks. They’re truly beautiful. The translation of the poem into English by our own South African Ingrid Jonker (what a story!) is sheer serendipity. A movie about her life was released recently, The Black Butterfly. I’m yet to see it. Using the woodblocks you inherited from your father could never fill the void but may go some way in making peace with it. I’m busy writing a letter to mine, who passed away some four years ago in an effort to relieve the grieving.

  5. Really like the wood blocks and the “blind” embossing—of course, that’s hard to see on a screen … Art is a process as well as a product. Wood blocks are evidence of that process of sharing or communicating that passes from art creator to art appreciator, parent to child (your story,) breast to hands (the poem.) They should be cherished as much as the prints “pulled” from them.

  6. Dearest:

    This is indeed a sweet, rich and powerful memorial.
    Congrats to both father and daughter!!!
    Love you more, the more I “read you”.



  7. Oh! Great, beautiful poem you posted! (I was about to forget to comment on it!). Powerful as well. Another kind of memory.
    Congrats, Jess!

  8. Reblogged this on nós and commented:
    Jess always posts some of the best…
    She is even better!!!!

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