Tell Me, Tell Me: Granite, Steel, and Other Topics
New York: Viking Press, 1966. Octavo, original turquoise cloth over grey patterned paper boards, original unclipped pictorial dust jacket. Light toning to front free endpaper where another piece of paper was laid in, two small closed tears to jacket.
First edition of this collection of eighteen poems and four short essays, with a whimsical inscription in Moore's hand, signed and dated “April 1967": “One of my happiest meals was with / Brendan and Anne Gill encircled by zebras, / at Gino's / 'between 60 and 61st Street' / Brentano is Ialian [sic] but no match / for 3 zebra with flowing tails whom / my overfed zebra salutes! 'Circiello' / For it is Gino we salute, if Destiny / will someday bring me back to his enchanted circus!" Gino Circiello was the proprietor of Gino's, a New York landmark that survived into the twenty-first century, its celebrated zebra wallpaper intact ((and immortalized in Margot Tenenbaum’s childhood bedroom). In Here At The New Yorker, Brendan Gill wrote fondly about his dinner there with Moore, and recalled the special attention paid to their party: “Later Miss Moore wrote a poem about Gino's; that is, she wrote a poem that included mention of the spirited zebras that decorate the walls of the restaurant. I was able to buy a copy of the book in which the poem appears, have Miss Moore autograph it, and present it to Gino; a happy ending to the episode." No poem matching Gill's description was ever published by Moore, suggesting that what Gill is remembering is Moore's affectionate poetic inscription to Gino Circiello in this copy, almost certainly the book that Gill presented on Moore's behalf. An association copy of great charm.