biblio poetry – Dimensions

By Lee Kirk

Fold a sheet for Folio.
Fold again to make a Quarto:
four leaves, eight pages, don’t you know –
Another fold yields Octavo.

But what booksellers really prize is
how these folds relate to sizes..
It’s kind of shorthand, don’t you see –
for clarity and brevity.

Some think that we are too effete
or somehow trying to be elite –
but what if, instead of 16mo, 24mo, and 32mo
we wrote sextodecimo, vigesimoquarto, and trigesimosecundo?

Lee Kirk – The Prints and the the Paper

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