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Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists

Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists

By a. rawlings
Illustrated by Matt Ceolin
Categories: Poetry
Paperback : 9781552451694, 112 pages, March 2006
Read Excerpt (PDF)

Book, or laboratory? Reader, or specimen?

Wide slumber for lepidopterists is a poetic fantasia, a disorienting yet compelling dreamscape of butterflies and caterpillars and killing jars, where the waking mind’s prose transforms into the sleeper’s poetry. Each poem unfolds with precision, tracking the stages of sleep and pairing them with the life cycle of Lepidopterae. Insomnia is mirrored in the birth of the egg, narcolepsy in larval hatching. And when the caterpillar starts its final moult, dreams begin, weaving around us as tightly as a cocoon until we are somnambulant, a chrysalis ready to emerge as a moth.

Reading the act of sleep through pupae and moths seems incongruous, but from this unlikely premise comes a darkly erotic text that takes cues from the scientific fascination of Christopher Dewdney, the linguistic experimentation of Gertrude Stein and the aural environments of Björk toexplore science, sexuality and language in equal parts.

Wide slumber for lepidopterists contains luminous illustrations by artist and bookmaker Matt Ceolin, who has managed to capture the spirit of the poems with his beautiful and disturbing treated photographs of butterflies, moths and dessication.