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Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Bring on the Clowns
The painter fills his canvas with the face,
the clown's face, canvas for the clown.
A canvas fills the canvas, while a hand
performs the function of a brush,
touches the face or pokes it, sweeps or tweaks.
Caresses. Face and hand are one.
Physique is secondary to the face.
The high-wire walkers, acrobats
and those on the trapeze Chagall has sketched,
marginalised by distance.
They are their actions or they cease to be.
The clown exists by what he is.
But what is he, this yellow clown? Some say
a tragic figure who will hide
a broken heart beneath a cheerful smile.
The gesture of the hand agrees.
Or is he deeply cynical as I
am wont to be? Slapstick enhanced
with a veneer of depth (see what he's done?)
or given spurious romance?
The children are not fooled. They see him as
the simpleton he is - ah, there's
the rub: forget the tragic hero role;
we worship the philosopher in him.
The image was provided as prompt by http://magpietales.blogspot.co.uk/