Give God a Flower. Poems by Cranston Stroup. Sixteen watercolors by Jeff Chapman-Crane. Edited and introduced by Richard Cartwright Austin. Hand-set type and hand-fed iron letterpress printing. Sixty-six pages, six by nine inches. Hardbound with three-quarter cloth and gold stamping. Limited edition of 500 copies, each numbered and autographed. Order here.


Below is a typical page spread from Give God a Flower. The open book is twelve inches wide, nine inches high. For a larger watercolor image, click here.


O God, for fire that burns upon the hearth,
And lights that dance with shadows on the wall;
For crannies out of which the crickets call,
And fragile flowers this Spring; and trees whose worth
Cannot be told, for mysteries of birth
When light and green spring fresh from out the hall
Of death; for mountains strong and tall;
And all the beauty of Thy living earth;
We thank Thee, Lord.

And if, O God, there be
A wounded, songless bird, a homeless mouse;
A troubled heart, a frail or anguished mind;
A suffering child, a twisted broken tree
Within the perfect beauty of Thy house,
O Lord, be very merciful, be kind!

Distributed exclusively by Creekside Press, this book is Dick Austin's tribute to his uncle, Cranston Stroup (pronounced "Strowp"), whose brilliant career was cut short at age 30 by brain disease.

Jeff Chapman-Crane illustrates Cranston's poems with sixteen beautiful watercolors on floral and natural themes, sketched on the same California landscape where Cranston worked during the late 1920's, his productive years.

Gray Zeits of Larkspur Press, a master of his craft, hand-set the type and hand-feed heavy eggshell paper through a traditional iron letterpress to achieve a deep printing impression rarely seen today.

David McFarlane of McGrafX placed watercolors on these pages using the highest quality digital reproduction. A "lupine" watercolor graces the hard cover which is three-quarter bound in cloth and gold-stamped. The book itself is a work of art.

Of the sixteen original watercolors, most have been sold but several are still available from the artist. Paintings and books will tour nationally in the Spring of 2003.

This edition is limited to 500 copies, each numbered and autographed. More poems by Cranston Stroup will be published in a subsequent book, East of Cleveland, but Give God a Flower will remain a collector's item.


To read another poem by Cranston Stroup and to view the illustrations that accompany it, please click here.

To learn more about the artist, Jeff-Chapman Crane, to view his watercolors, or to contact the artist at his Valley of the Winds Art Gallery, please click here.

For the complete text of "The Birth of God," Cranston Stroup's epic poem, please click here.

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