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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Talk to a Painting

Talk to the man you don't understand,
invite him for supper or tea -
or if it's a piece of impossible art,
chat like you would to a friend;
take it home in your head,
pillow-talk it in bed
and give it some quality time.

I'll give you a case I bumped into by chance
as I was doing my rounds:
a gallery space
and me face-to-face
with The Dance of Life by Munch.




I was puzzled at first by the masks,
the facades of people having a dance -
and said so: "The shame,
the gloom and the grief,
not enjoying the hour
of their dance by the side of the sea."

"I am no Dance of Life, my friend,"
the picture disagreed.
"My title is an irony.
I'm more your dance of angst.
I am obsessed,
as my creator was obsessed,
who painted many canvases
of his anxieties.
I am the grand summation of them all.
He wrapped them all in me: his three
iconic forms of womanhood: the virgin,
inaccessible and pure; seductress,
predator and vampire; and the mother,
stiff and suffering, yet stoical."

"And yet, you're something ghostly, ethereal,"
I said. "Not flesh and blood. How can that be?
The sea is calm, the moon
a ring of beauty with reflections in the sea.
These things should influence
the scene - not leave you cold."

14 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

bravo! I could never get the hang of Munch.

Mishi said...

wow! that was beautiful and touching!:-)

jane.healy said...

Dave - you are my Thought For The Day.

Isabel Doyle said...

My pillow would get quite crowded with all the paintings I don't understand.

A fine example of the 'Kingly' art.

kaykuala said...

Talking to a painting, talking to a plant can be therapeutic apparently. Is it true! Great verse Dave!

Hank

sunny said...

Hi Mr dave excellent idea.

Carl said...

Great poem and really cool idea. I will try that with art i do not understand rather than move on to the next piece quickly.

ArtistUnplugged said...

Always a way with the words, love the topic of today's verse.

TechnoBabe said...

Different faces for various phases of life. You could describe your interpretations of various pieces of art to teach the rest of us to open up to other insights.

JeannetteLS said...

this is why I tend to go to galleries with a friend. The more it eludes me, the longer I stay. Perverse, perhaps... but it's FUN.

Which leads me to this verse, and to Munch... He never knew how to take a real bite out of life. Sorry.

No. The last four lines said what I've never been able to articulate about how I felt he must have been as a man. He felt like the antithesis of anything I wanted to be, or how I WANT to see the world and people around me.

Not that his vision was false. It is no reflection on his art or him... but he eludes me artistically and makes me overwhelmingly sad sometimes.

You, on the other hand, do not. I find it MOST convenient that you continually express what I cannot. I can simply quote Dave. My friends are quite sick of it. "Let me guess. Your blogging poet friend?"

Yup.

Brian Miller said...

ah very nice delve into the mind of an artist and the meaning put into paintings...i love to take one to tea and talk finding all its subtle nuances...

Linda Sue said...

This takes my breath away! I do love angst in art- especially in a cold Norwegian disposition- I wouldn't want to live with it but I really like what you have done with you poetry to put it into a more manageable pocket! Brilliant!

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable indeed :-).

Dave King said...

Leatherdykeuk
I had a phase for Munch, but can take him or leave him now.

Mishi
Good to hear from you, and many thanks for the compliment.

jane
Wow, I've only one answer to that: Thanks!

Isabel
My theory is they'd move on fairly quickly!

kaykuala
But is it therapeutic for the talker or the plant? I've heard that the plant benefits from the carbon dioxide the talker blows over it.

sunny
Thanks very much.

Carl
Let me know how it goes. I was going to open it up to any work of art, but thought there might be practical problems. A Henry Moore or a Caro; you might not want them on your pillow.

ArtistUnplugged
Thank you very much.

TechnoBabe
Wow! I'd have to think about that, don't think there's a lot of the guru in me! Thanks for the response, though.

Jeanette
That's not perverse. A work of art can exert a strong pull on you, even when you don't understand
it. Perhaps because you don't. The thing is to understand it in your terms. You may not get from it what the artist thought he was putting in. There maybe something there for you that the artist never even guessed.

Brian
That sound so civilised, the way you put it. Excellent.

Linda Sue
Thank you very much. I find that really cheering.

Windsmoke
Much thanks.