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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Jackson Pollock

Here is violence absorbed,
a wildness, a ferocity,
a turbulence of stick,
ferocity of knife,
pigment wildly thrown:
a clash of disparate energies -
all somehow harvested
as from a tangled garden bed
where buds appear
and tiny leaves
and trailing things
like brambles drawing blood.

"Be still," it said
"and know here is a god."
The canvas knows.

"Be still," it says to me,
be as a tree
with its deep roots
and broad reach of its arms.
Take in the world,
take the world's mess,
Be still as me."

image from Wikipedia


Cloudia said...

The first line, couldn't get past it's wonderful apt-ness.

Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral

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december_roses said...

This is ridiculously beautiful. I love your poetry.

Christine said...

Yes... the stillness hidden amidst the fury. Waiting.

haricot said...

A lot of imagination, a lot of silence.

sunny said...

Hi Mr Dave,good poem,i like to ask that you wrote a line "and know here is a god"what does that mean.

kaykuala said...

Fantastic imagery Dave! The desire to push its presence seemed likely if not for your insistence.


Carl said...

I love this poem Dave. The God reference makes total sense to me... I see this canvas as having knowledge of every story ever told or written and displaying fragments of each all at the same time. not disjointed, but unified. It tells each viewer the story they need to hear.

Ruchi Jain said...


The Weaver of Grass said...

I like this Dave. I do embroideries which follow the Jackson Pollock line - and I really like the idea that your poem fits my embroideries very well.

Victoria said...

I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone make more sense of a Pollock. The tree references are perfect as is the reference from the psalms. Somewhere in the midst of the tangle of life is that stillness. I really like this. Actually, I like Pollock too, because of texturse and colors. I like non-representational art.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I feel this very close to what I look for in poetry. It's solemn and determined.
To be read and reread.

Mary said...

This is one of my recent favorites of yours. My favorite lines are:

"Be still," it said
"and know here is a god."
The canvas knows.

Windsmoke. said...

The first stanza does for me as it could describe the effort and motivation that was put into the painting :-).

Dulcina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dulcina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dulcina said...

This is a wonderful poetic radiography or dissection of Pollock as an artist, Dave.
I don't like this splatter, No. 5, 1948, at all, but I like the way you have described it and the words you could "hear" from the proud canvas.
This Pollock was sold for $ 140 million in 2006, one of the highest prices ever paid for a painting.
Using your own words, I consider it a clash of disparate energies and a world's mess.
- Be still.
No!, I would never obey this monster despite its high "value".
Pollock, that alcoholic American painter, didn't paint, he just dripped paint on a canvas on the floor so, more than a painter he was a kind of dripper or thrower
(pigment wildly thrown).
I don't like this technique called "action painting": it's just making fun of true art, in my humble opinion.
Pollock made his creations moving all around the canvas; he painted with his entire body, sometimes in a frenzied dance. No brushes, no easels, no palette:
a turbulence of stick,
ferocity of knife
For me, your poem is an ironic view of modern madness about Art and life in general, where people adore ugliness and stupidity instead of appreciating beauty and merit, where we celebrate the triumph of false gods over the true God.
Thou shalt not adore their gods, nor serve them.
(Exodus 23:24-33)
Anyway, your words have created a great poetic painting about this violent, chaotic, delirious mass of paint where I can find no buds, no leaves, no brambles, believe me!(I have tried with a magnifying glass)
It reminds me of the cloth I use to clean my oil brushes :)
It's the insufferable delirium of a drunkard.
Give a child a canvas and some
paint and he would create something like this, but he would not paint or even imitate a Turner, a Reynolds, a Velazquez or a DalĂ­.
Dave, I miss inverted commas before be as a tree:
"Be still," it says to me,
"be as a tree

(Sorry for deleting my 2 previous comments: I had some problems with my puter. Thanks for your benevolence)

Isabel Doyle said...

Mr King, a fine poem indeed, although i would never have associated Pollack with 'stillness', I will look again with fresh eyes.

I've posted a new Sunday Tree, with, as an experiement, a linky thing. Would you like to link your previous 'Tree' poem to it, or perhaps you would be inspired by one of the trees to write a new one?

Best wishes, Isabel

Nimra said...

hi mr dave your poetry is very impressive

Muhammad Israr said...

ah...wonderful..the first lines mesmerizing..i think i should call you peotry king :) bravo...

Jenny Woolf said...

Interesting, I have always wondered why people like Jackson Pollock and your poem shows me that there is both energy and stillness in his work. Still wouldn't have it on my wall, mind you! :)

Dave King said...

Many thanks for this comment.

Hi, and a warm welcome to you, thank you for your very kind comment.

Hi! Good to have your visit and your comment. Thank you.

Welcome to the blog and thank you very much for the generous response.

No hidden meaning, just what the words say.

Interesting observation. I thank you for it.

That is a wonderfully helpful - and I think fertile - conceit. I shall go away and have a good think along those lines. Thanks Carl.

Hi,Welcome and thank you for visiting my blog. Thank you also for commenting.

The Weaver of Grass
Thank you so much for a fascinating comment. Will you get to show these embroideries on your blog?

Hi, Good to have you visiting and especially good to have your thought-provoking response. It is really encouraging to get such feedback.

Solemn and determined, a good summation of what poetry at its best can be. I am wowwed by the thought that you found it in my poem. Thank you for saying so.

It's good to get your comment. You choose the three lines I felt to be the key to the poem.

Indeed, it was meant to srtand for that. Exactly.

Hi A very warm welcome to you and thank you so much for your wonderful contribution to the discussion. I understand where you are coming from, though I have a different perspective on the painting. As with poetry, what a viwer (or reader) gets from it may not always be what the artist put into it - or thought he was putting into it. I'm not sure if a child with a can of paint could ceate something like it; I know I couldn't - I've tried.

Many many thanks for your kind compliment - and for your invitation, which I will have a think about.

Thank you for your much-appreciated feedback and welcome to my blog. It is good to have you visiting.

Hi, thank you for stopping by and for your response. I regret to say I have not yet been crowned. Still hoping, of course.

Fair enough. Thanks for the comment, though. Good to have it.

Anonymous said...

Very aptly expressed, I like your interpretation of his work, it's deep.