Facts about Quadrifariam

Dear Cid,

I've just finished a 110 page ms. - don't have the title yet - if Sackheim does The Prefiguration, maybe you'd like to do the 110 page work.... Yes, I want to make a book of poems of great purity - a book wherein justification need not take place.

Dear Cid,
Well, I finally came up with the title for the 110 page book: Quadrifariam. Will wrote me that he's going to send The Prefiguration to Sackheim - hope Sackheim likes the work: I need a publication that'll show me to advantage. Space is important in my work.

Dear Cid,
Well, good news: The Triune is finished - it is a text of 171 pages - I needed to be released from it - where I go from here is anybody's guess - should now concentrate my energies in how to get out of this apt. They're starting to smash away at the vacant apts - a way of discouraging "squatter's". But we'll wait until the law says no more time the city progresses.

Dear Cid,
Well, I certainly look forward to reading your essay on The Prefiguration - you along with Will and Clayton are probably the only one who cares - I've given another ms to Eric - Quadrifariam (longer than Prefiguration and almost 300 pages) - hope things go well enough that he'll finally decided to do it.

Dear Cid,
Say hello to Eric for me - I sure hope he can do my Quadrifariam it should deepen The Prefiguration even more so.

Dear Cid,
I've also written Eric, asking if the time for publication of Quadrifariam is ripe. I see myself still preoccupied in work till the end of my days.

Dear Cid,
Jim called on the 1st expressing his wish to do Infinitesimals. Jim to do Infinitesimals, Eric Quadrifariam. I'm to visit him the 16th - he conveyed much liveliness of voice on the phone -
Eric's last letter states clearly no preface: "If I can write the jacket copy more intelligently then I did last time, I think we'll be all right." So!

Dear Cid,
I've finished Lumen Gloriae, final vol. of the work begun years ago. The 3 vols contain 18 books -
The Prefiguration, Quadrifariam, Lumen Gloriae are inclusive titles re-orienting the titles as steps within, the Unitive Title forgone, but everywhere revealed in the Unity Fourfold Contemplative Trinity....

Dear Cid,
Good news! last week received my work Quadrifariam - I'm very moved by the way Eric has presented it  -
Will's print gives a hieratic tinge to the portals of the book - I think the 2nd vol shows the scope of the work (that is the knowledge that it belongs to the 1st) - it may the reader (certain places, parts) but relief is also interwoven thruout the structure - so! I hope it'll fare better than The Prefiguration, - I hope The Prefiguration will be drawn up to its rightful significance.
Tho the vols are related, each has its own sense (color, weight) and it pleases me to witness this as an actual fact.


  1. that essay " Through: The Prefiguration (Frank Samperi)"

    is included in AT THEIR WORD / Essays on the Arts of Language

    Volume II Black Sparrow, 1978

  2. Claudia,

    thanks for posting the Corman-Samperi correspondences re: "Quadrifariam"

    "Quadrifariam" looks to continue the journey impetus of Dante's "Commedia". It's a work of exegesis, translation and poetry, but a work that doesn't create textual boundaries but ultimately a "release". Scholastic terminology, if consciously used, is really meant to open up "spaces" of flight at the end, sites for true poetic creativity & perhaps growing nearness to divinity.

    Samperi himself, in "Quadrifariam", says " any man approaching the Commedia should approach it humbly, seeking to attain that purity necessary to a movement whose resolution is everything that went before". Clearly Dante, in whom perhaps Samperi saw as much the humanist as poet, is the driving force here.

    It's interesting that Samperi, in his letter to Corman 4/13/72 characterizes "Quadrifariam" as a part of a "Fourfold Comtemplative Trinity". That sense of "break" or "release" from the traditional "Threefold Trinity" seems to me a statement of design and poetic principle. Will Petersen's stoneprint cover design is that of a headless cross that also looks like angel-flight.

  3. Conrad,
    I love the stoneprints that Will did for each book that evoke that spiritual feeling.
    I remember them in the AZ house. My brother has the originals now.

    Thank you Conrad.


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