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Sunday, 7 December 2008

Girl Possessed

Girl Possessed : Paul Klee

Aglow with light and bright
as any stormlamp, yet
no light is shed, no gloom
is lifted where she walks.
Possession has dispossessed her,
and her wooden eyes are bled
of light - or blinded by it -
and look out from what
might seem eternal emptiness,
in search of the internal.
Possession has hollowed her
of inwardness. She is
deceived. The entity
has hold of her,
the not-her, and has drained
her of control, of all
the attributes of life
beyond the physical.
Capping the body she was born
with, this prosthetic face.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Love this Klee painting. It is good to see a poetic interpretation of it too Dave.
Like me, you are up early this morning.

Dave King said...

Weaver of Grass

Got a bit behind of late, so trying to catch up today. Thanks for the comment.

LAWRENCE said...

Read it first in my reader and did not see the picture. When I went to your page, I then saw the painting. You captured the image with your words. So many folks these days have a "prosthetic face" and are possessed by many different things. All the best- LL

Shadow said...

this is BRILLIANT! so descriptive! i gotta agree with lawrence, i've seen people like these, walking, talking, so sad.

Gordon Mason said...

Powerful words to a powerful painting. It got me thinking .... are we looking at and reading about today's 'celebrity' culture?

watermaid said...

You have captured her wonderfully well. Her eyes are pretty scary and you have use such vivid images in terms of light to describe them. I read the poem as about a woman who has lost her humanity and now presents to the world a 'prosthetic face'.

Lucas said...

Dave, I admire the compactness and power of this poem on a painting. I like the way you have captured something in the painting which is by no means obvious - yet is true: starting with the strange light and the subsequent images you have made to elucidate the terrifying quality behind this mask like image.

willow said...

This describes the Klee to a tee...oops...I didn't mean for that to rhyme! Seriously, your poem is exquisite.

Jim Murdoch said...

Quite impressed by this one, Dave. I have always appreciated the contrary nature of light, its ability to illuminate and blind depending on your perspective. And you whole poem explores a variety of contrarinesses, the fact that you be possessed you must also be dispossessed for example. Good word choice on the whole.

I've been thinking about the last two lines though and the word 'prosthetic' and I'm not sure this is the right word. Really what is happening is the she is being worn like a mask and the only thing, referring to the painting, that we see of the possessor are the eyes (being the window to the soul). You might want to have a wee think about the end. I still think it's a damn good poem.

Sarah Laurence said...

Paul Klee's work is so evocative as you show so well in your words.

MuseSwings said...

Your descriptive words are wonderful - she comes alive for the reader if that were possible for her to do!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

Leon Basin said...

That is really good.

acornmoon said...

"Possession has dispossessed her"

That is so clever!

Sweet Talking Guy.. said...

Love the Paul Klee pic, and the way you get inside her head or not, such a descriptive poem, I like the image of the 'prosthetic face' and the 'wooden eyes' reference too.

Dave King said...

Welcome, and yes, Iagree with you on both points. possession is not as passé as we like to believe, maybe.

Very sad, I agree, probably one of the saddest aspects of today's world. Thanks for the feedback.

I must admit that I had not thought of it in terms of today's culture - but you might be on to something. Thanks for commenting.

Yes, they were the aspects that first grabbed me: the light that seemed not to enlighten, the face, the scary eyes and the loss of humanity.

In some strange way, the light seems to me to lie behind it all.

Klee to a tee - I like that!

As usual you have both given me something to chew on and alighted on a point about which I have had several rethinks. The face seemed to me to be both less than a mask and more than a mask, which is how I came to end up with prosthetic, but I will surely have another think. Much appreciate the feedback.

Exactly right. That's how I see it. I often go to Klee when in need of a prompt.

Muse Swings
And ditto. your comments are much appreciated and my visits to you very anjoyable.

Welcome, and thanks for taking the trouble to comment.

That was the phrase that swam into my mind , as they say, and kicked it all off. Thanks.

Sweet Talking Guy
I tried to get inside her head, Not sure if I managed it, though. I rather think that there is nothing there but the not her.

Bee said...

Klee's face reminds me, most oddly, of the illustrators behind the "King of the Hill" series. Possession, in your words, makes me think of several possibilites: cultish religion, for one.

J. C. said...

Fascinating Dave, I can see this picture in a completely different perspective after reading the poem, and then I ask myself - how come that I did see this?

Dave King said...

Interesting thoughts: I see the King on the Hill association. I have just finished a poem to do with cultish religion, so maybe that association (although not conscious) was not entirely accidental.

This, too, raises some fascinating questions: to what degree and in what ways are we influenced in what we see now by what we have just seen - or heard or thought or whatever?

Crafty Green Poet said...

this is excellent, it has a very interesting rhythm to it that mirrors the sense of disquiet around the subject

Dave King said...

Crafty Green Poet

Your sense of disquiet exactly describes what I saw in the picture. Wish I'd thought of the phrase!

Stella said...

I especially liked your using the phrase "the not-her." I'm going to remember that one.

Also, consider yourself tagged.


Ida said...

Dear Dave, thanks for stopping by my blog and for you kind words. God bless you.

liZZie said...

I think that is a fine poem Dave, and perfect length too. I agree with a lot of what your other readers have said, but I can add something too. About fifteen years ago because of a thyroid problem I started to look like that too, especially the eyes. Wasn't long before I reverted back to (fairly) normal. I have tried to write a few poems too stimulated by visual art, in my case Matisse and I may dare to post it one day. Must add that your previous post stimulated a lot of thoughts for me. I tend to read Karen Armstrong on matters of faith/non faith. Best wishes.

Poetikat said...

Wow, Dave! I think Klee would be proud of such a well-conceived and perceptive piece. I particularly like that last bit - "this prosthetic face". She does rather remind me of H. Lecter and his mask.

Actually, I've seen this girl in the mirror once or twice.


Poetikat said...

P.S. I left a note on your storm poem. (Love it!)


maeve63 said...

Nice work Dave. My favorite line is "...her wooden eyes are bled of light" What an image!!

Linda S. Socha said...

Well said and other worldly evocative . I like it. It suits this Klee

Dave King said...

Thanks for your comment, and for the tag which I will investigate ASAP.

Welcome, great to have you. I enjoyed my visit.

Much appreciate both your kind comments and your thought-provoking ones. So sorry to hear about yourthyroid problem. I do have a close relative who has such problems, so can sympathise, but though you may have looked like that, you never were like that - there lies the difference. Take your courage in both hands and post your Matisse. I'm sure you will not regret it. I do believe that my work has improved from my posting and the comments of others. Give it a go!

H. Lecter, I had not thought of, but do see what you mean. As for your last sentence - rubbish!
Thanks for the Storm poem comment. I do get around to back posts every few days. Wilol read yours later.

Welcome and many thanks for the comment.

Your last sentence is a really good compliment. Thanks.

maekitso said...

I really enjoyed this, Dave. You are fortunate, I think, to have the honest and thoughtful critiques of those like Jim. Nice work.

Dave King said...


Couldn't agree more. Thanks for yours.

Anairam said...

I liked the use of 'eternal' and 'internal' following on one another. It caused for me a kind of double-take, because you expect that you have misread eternal for external, but then you see that it is indeed meant to be eternal! It kind of emphasises the word for me. I also think that 'prosthetic face' works better than mask would (as someone else suggested). A mask implies something that you have control over, that you can put on or take off at will, but a prosthesis is a fake limb, something that you would probably not have chosen to have, but that you are forced to live with in the absence of the 'real' limb. The poem to me is a very close description of someone I know who suffers from schizophrenia.

Roxana said...

hi dave,
I'm very much impressed. how did you get the idea of writing the poem? because you like Klee's painting? or are you interested in this topic of (dis)posession and that's how you came to both Klee and the poem?

Dave King said...

Thanks for the feedback. V ery much appreciated. Your remarks on prosthesis were particularly welcome as it is an aspect I had not considered.

I guess I was looking for inspiration and turned to Klee for it - as I sometimes do when facing a mini-block.

Dick said...

A tricky proposition, telling the painting's tale. I know this painting so well, but the poem has taken me into it all over again. Thanks for that, Dave.

小貓咪 said...