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reed magazine logoAutumn 2009

Reed Mag Autumn 2009

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Chris Lydgate

Class Notes &
copy editor

Laurie Lindquist

Alumni News Editor
Robin Tovey '97

Development news editor
Matt Kelly

Graphic Designer
Chris Michel

Web Designer
Raymond Rodriguez



Pen and Ink

Chris Lydgate

Our lead story, about Mary Barnard’s epic translation of Sappho, posed an interesting dilemma: what image should we use on the cover? The photographs we had of Mary were not sufficiently detailed. The various artistic depictions of Sappho through the ages are exercises in pure speculation; many of them reflect the very kind of sentimentalism that Mary was trying to strip away. What about the poems themselves? Unfortunately, the surviving fragments are not particularly photogenic.

In a flash of insight, our designer, Chris Michel, suggested a hallowed Reed tradition. We asked Portland calligrapher Carol DuBosch, a student of Lloyd Reynolds, to read Mary’s translation and pick out an appropriate passage. Here is the poem she chose (the passage is highlighted).

Be kind to me

Gongyla; I ask only
that you wear the cream
white dress when you come

Desire darts about your
loveliness, drawn down in
circling flight at sight of it

and I am glad, although
once I too quarreled
with Aphrodite
to whom
I pray that you will
come soon

“This fragment has tremendous movement, life, passion,” Carol says. “I knew how I wanted to treat it right away.” To write the passage, she selected Bone, a modern variation on the Renaissance script humanist bookhand, which was developed by Jaqueline Svaren ’50.

Jaki, who studied under Lloyd Reynolds for many years, taught the script to Carol. “The script must be written densely with the letters touching, nudging, bumping up against one another,” Carol says. “In doing so, the spaces in between the letters—we call it the counterspace—takes on a life of its own.”

Finally, to achieve the moody, enigmatic effect, Carol ran the paper under the sink! The water all but washed out the freshest ink—the last lines—but left the opening lines more or less unscathed. “I can remember Lloyd talking about Mary Barnard and Sappho,” says Carol, who took classes from Lloyd at what was then the Museum Art School (now the Pacific Northwest College of Art). “So it was a particular pleasure to pay homage to her work in this way.” As editor, it was a pleasure to see how this distinctive art form, so much a part of Reed’s heritage, could add so much depth to our magazine.

Lydgate signature
—Chris Lydgate ’90

reed magazine logoAutumn 2009