close-up of colophon page, margins cropped

Articles of
Light & Elation

frontispiece illustration by Auguste Rodin

by Gustaf Sobin

ISBN 0-932274-54-4
first edition 1998
62 PAGES. 8¾" x 6¾"

Signed/Limited edition

Limitation: fifty numbered copies signed by the poet and 26 lettered copies signed by the poet.
Endleaf, 2 blank leaves, 1 leaf, halftitle, l leaf, photographic print, 16 pps., 2 blank leaves, endleaf.
Letterpress printing on Mohawk Superfine by Eric Holub at the Hillside Press in San Franicsco, California.
Composed in Linotype Elzevir by Bruce Washbish at the Anchor & Acorn Press in Petaluma, California. Designed by Jeffrey Miller and Bruce Washbish.
Handbound in gold stamped Mohawk Superfine covers. Glassine wrapper. Top edges gilt.
Illustration: August Rodin's "Salambö" tipped-in opposite title page. Hand binding by James Tapley, James Tapley, Hand Bookbinder, in Sarasota, Florida.

Note: the sheets and illustration for this book were lost in transit between publisher and binder for several years and were only located last year.

1 of 50 signed edition


1of 26 lettered and signed edition


Trade edition


62 PAGES. 8¾" x 6¾"

In Articles of Light & Elation Gustaf Sobin has accomplished that rarest of things in American poetry: a successful cycle of erotic love poems on the scale of those written by e e cummings and Kenneth Rexroth.

Gustaf Sobin is the author of six volumes of poetry: Wind Chrysalid's Rattle; The Earth as Air; Voyaging Portraits; Breaths' Burial and Towards the Blanched Alphabets. He has also written two novels: Venus Blue and Dark Mirrors, as well as a collection of essays, Luminous Debris: Reading Archeological Vestige in Provence and Languedoc.

An American expatriate who lived in Provence for almost forty years and who died in 2005, Sobin, after having served a poetic apprenticeship with René Char, came to elaborate a vision entirely of his own. Within that vision “the boundaries between self and other,” as one commentator has put it, “seems to dissipate into a voice suddenly overwhelmed by the available sounds of speech.” Articles of Light & Elation might well be read as celebration of that speech.

About the Book

One of the few successful extended sequences of poems about an erotic relationship written in English in this century. There are individual love poems all over the literary Landscape, but there's nothing that reaches the sustained height of romantic discourse found in Articles of Light Elation.

One thinks only of Ford Madox Ford's Buckshee, or Berryman's Sonnets. But there's nothing that reaches the sustained height of romantic discourse found in these pages.

Over the last few years Cadmus Editions has been issuing some of the finest productions in the small press world—small, distinctive Mandarin pleasures. Articles of Light & Elation is elegantly printed in 14 point Elzevir on now extinct Mohawk Letterpress, perfect bound in rust wrappers and covered with a printed, pictorial dust jacket.

— Lee Perron, Poet

Extract from letter: Michael O'Brien to Gustaf Sobin. Quoted with permission.

Thanks for your brave book, Articles of Light & Elation. It is astonishing, overwhelming; programatically meant to be overwhelming. It insists on presence, body, closeness, it won't take no for an answer. The poems sustain both deep struggle and an extraordinary elation. Or the poem sustains . . . for it seems one poem to me, in many stanzas, each finally, for all it distinctness, inseparable from the rush of the whole. And how right that stanzas are rooms, the poem moving from room to room, each room with two people in it. Its scale is right, it requires its length, its abundance, the unfolding of its detail, to make itself manifest. I can't think of anything harder to do, to make carry, to make present. The breathless ardor of it. The self as separate finally overwhelmed,

. . . a

nest ablaze in the breath's


I'd thought one couldn't surpass Eluard, but here you seem of his company, his extraordinary transparency, your massed yet vanishing particulars. It just builds and builds. I know nothing like it in English; it's as ardent as Hart Crane. And how you make your page work for you: the disposition of the words in each stanza enacting a descent, a going down into. I know no poems more deeply embodied. Or more joyous. The word “mysteries” inevitably makes me think of the rosary, its Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries. What I always missed were the Physical Mysteries. Now there they are. How much these poems restore.

— Michael O'Brien

also by Gustaf Sobin Sicilian Miniatures