The Second Coming (Again)

Poem by William Butler Yeats, paintings by Jodee Fenton. Seattle: Aubergine Atelier. 
Printed at Windowpane Press. 2019

Artist Statement

William Butler Yeats wrote a poem that identified aspects of human experience that transcends our everyday life.  The Second Coming references political and economic threats of the early 20th century which were dominating the cultural, political, and social news of the time. These threats (nativism, anarchy, and worse) remain and this poem keeps these issues in front of us. Every time I read these important lines, I think of visual ways to bring Yeats’ powerful words into a book—an opportunity where we can all read the lines, think a moment, and then look at images. 

The very nature of a book itself—sequence– one page after another…one word after another, perhaps one image after another—gives us the time to read, see, pause, and think. And connect with Yeats himself. The paintings are done on both sides of the kozo paper, allowing for the paint to be part of the visual images. Each painting is unique and each copy of the edition has its own set of paintings. The paintings were done larger than the textblock and trimmed to fit including two custom “tabs” that were inserted in slits in the folio and pasted down.  These tabs are introductions to the painting and to Yeats’ poetry.


The poem was set in Linotype Garamond by Bonnie Thompson Norman at the Windowpane Press in Seattle on Rives Lightweight paper.  

The paintings were created by Jodee Fenton at Aubergine Atelier and groups of paintings were selected for each copy of the edition.  The paintings are water-based media on Japanese kozo papers (gauche, egg white medium, polycrylic varnish, selectively sprayed with fixative as needed). Handwoven silk headbands were made for the head and tail of the textblock. Top edge treatment is acrylic paint.

The Textblock is sewn on raised cords and laced into laminated boards which are covered in brown
Pentland Goatskin with matching leather doublures and red paper endsheets. Fourteen unique paintings
are bound into the texblock. Top edge treatment is clear acrylic to allow for the edges of the paintings to
be seen. Cover design includes an embossed and sanded figure with blind tooling on both recto and

The book is 54 pages with 14 paintings for the text.

The book is offered in a custom clamshell box with a felt lining.

For pricing information, please contact me.