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Far, far away is a beautiful island
of enchanting lakes and green, dreaming pastures.
In other lands, the houses were lonely
or crowded or crippled or else could not breathe.
The birds heard their sighs, and flew to them crying:
‘Travel with us to the isle of contentment.’
Three little towers first had the courage
…..then two sad memorials
…..and a lone mountain church.
From the east and the west
they excitedly hurried,
cathedrals and palaces, manors and cottages…..
bravely they travelled
through dark, winding passes,
over vast, windswept gorges
and sun-beaten deserts
where people and furniture…..
…..were sometimes mislaid.
The heavier houses lingered and rested
while others on rivers
drifted down to the sea. Then, alas!
the wind whipped the waves
and the sea became strewn with
the wreckage of houses.
So some crossed by tunnel…..
…..and some by baloon…..
…..till they came one by one
to the Beautiful Island,
where at last the houses found
sunshine and peace.
There on the island
they can float on the rivers,
there are bowers for lovers
or nooks for the shy…..
and for the sun-weary
the shade of cool caverns…..
and dancing and happiness and
JOY WITHOUT END.

This is only the text of the marvelous collage novella that gave this blog its name. Meg Rutherford created splendid collages of old black and white prints. Miraculously, her book is still on the market. Published in hard cover in London by George Allen and Unwin Ltd in 1969.

From the blurb: “Comparable only with the work of Max Ernst and René Magritte, THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND is an unparalleled adventure in the use of collage. A story? A poem? An idyll? An allegory? It is a joyful, wistful architectural fantasy that will, it is hoped, capture the hearts of artists and dreamers, adults and children.
Meg Rutherford was born in Australia in 1932 and came to London in 1958 to study at the Slade School of Art. Principally a sculptress, her work was first exhibited in 1961 and since then has been shown in many galleries …”