HANNAH FRANK BOOKS REVEAL THE POET WITHIN
THE ARTIST introduced by
Judith Coyle and Fiona Frank
Glasgow artist Hannah
Frank (1908-2008) is best known for her black and white
drawings and sensuous sculpture. However, the book
‘Hannah Frank: Footsteps on the Sands of Time – a 100th
Birthday Gallimaufry’, published to celebrate her 100th
birthday in August 2008, reveals she was a poet before she
was an artist.
Along with previously
unpublished drawings and sketches the book includes articles
about Hannah Frank's life and 75 year career, with
particular reference to her love of poetry, revealed through
Hannah’s diary entries. At the age of 17 Hannah composed a
poem beginning: ‘They laughed, and misty, faded into the
Elfland’. This unpublished poem, found in her diary for
1925, forms the opening section of the biographical DVD
‘Hannah Frank, The Spark Divine’, made by award winning film
maker Sarah Thomas.
From 1927, while an
undergraduate at Glasgow University, her poems were
published in the Glasgow University Magazine (GUM). The
first, ‘Slow They Glide’, under her pseudonym ‘Al Aaraaf’,
was soon followed by ‘Where Hast Tarried’.
From 1928 her work as an
artist became prolific. Many drawings were inspired by
poetry. ‘Footsteps’ reproduces some of her illustrations
for the ‘Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam’, for Coleridge’s
‘Christabel, and for ‘Isabella, or The Pot of Basil’ by
‘Hannah Frank, A
Glasgow Artist, Drawings and Sculpture,’
(2004) is revised and expanded version of a first edition
from the 1980s. This
beautifully-produced book, edited by the artist’s niece,
contains over 200 illustrations including sketches from the
artist's diaries, early self-portraits and a
catalogue of her black and white drawings and bronze
Hannah Frank died in
December 2008 at the age of 100.
Hannah Frank: Footsteps on
the Sands of Time. A 100th Birthday Gallimaufry. Fiona
Frank, Judith Coyle (eds). Scottish Jewish Archives Centre
in association with Kennedy and Boyd. 2008. £15.95 Schools
edition includes additional 20 page Teachers' Pack by Ann
Marie Foster MA. £17.95
Hannah Frank A Glasgow
Artist: Drawings and Sculpture, Fiona Frank (ed.)
Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, 2004. £21.50
Hannah Frank, The Spark
Divine. DVD (25 minutes). Sarah Thomas. £20.00
All available from www.hannahfrank.org.uk
Sunday 27th [December
Wrote the following:
They laughed, and misty, faded into
And a Fairy’s song came floating to
that vale beneath –
A Fairy’s song that weeping,
laughed, and laughing wept.
They were gone. And I sighed in the
In the lone dark valley of shadows,
For the Fairy Folk at play.
Yearning I thought of the Elfland,
And the Fairy roundelay.
The air was filled with a nebulous
And voices – as of the falling
Or slow, gliding water.
Of forms that came from the violet
Cloudy, silvery gleaming;
Of pale, cold faces, pale with the
The fleeting touch of cold, cold
Of happenings passing strange.
I awoke. I was come from the
From a land of voices and shadows.
Sighing, uprising, I went from the