(1st published here August 29, 2012)

You were the rarest book of all,
for me, the ultimate edition.
Much of you had been unread
though you remained in great shape,
unfaded and unmarked.
Crisp and fine,
inscribed to me only,
a true collectible.

Bibiliophile that I am,
I had never come across
such definitive copy.
Nothing chipped or shelf-cocked
about you.
A trim folio, unpaginated,
with no slipcase.
Your spine sunned
but binding intact.

I had no blurb to go by
but dedicated myself
to your sole acquisition.
Your front matter
and end-pages skim-read
as I turned you                                                                                                                    over in my hands, savouring
each distinguishing point.
Your non-gilt edges
and errata were all forgiven.
I loved most your imprint
your laid-ins
and variant proofs.

For me, as issued,
you were First Thus.
No bookplate ever
for you, o precious tome.


ps/ Stay tuned for a forthcoming new, unique, second blog devoted to Canadian literature which will exhibit dust jackets, ephemera, signed author items, and rare Canlit images not found anywhere else on the Internet.

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