John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Advent 2011: Witness Tree

Today is the 242nd anniversary of the founding of Dartmouth College, and look who's here to help us celebrate, our old pal J. J. Lankes, last seen in these here parts just two days ago. In 1923, Robert Frost asked Lankes to provide an illustration for "The Star-Splitter," a new poem that would to be published in Liberator magazine. This was the first of many collaborations between Frost and Lankes; in addition to future magazine illustrations, Lankes also provided illustrations for least three books of Frost's poetry, as well as several of Frost's Christmas chapbooks. What you see here is from the 1941 card, featuring a Lankes illustration that would be used the following year in Frost's next volume of poetry, The Witness Tree.

What does all this have to do with Dartmouth? Well, not much other than that this particular copy of the card was sent by Frost to Dartmouth College librarian Harold Rugg, and can currently be found in the collection of Dartmouth's Rauner Special Collections Library. The inscription reads:

     Picture of a Witness Tree
     As in my book about to be;
     Which see     R. F. to Harold Rugg

Witness Tree
Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.
Tags: advent: 2011, author: robert frost, greeting card

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