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Thursday, 28 April 2011
The Apparition of the Family : Chagall
In the process of creation this can be:
an angel host surrounds the artist as he paints,
they hymn the act in which he is engaged,
confirm the godliness of what he does.
We see Chagall before his easel, caught
off-guard it would appear, perhaps because
of those who form the angel choir:
no strangers here, no beings he might fear.
A dozen years it took him to complete,
to limn his daughter, wife and parents
(long since dead), his siblings and -
and here we reach the matter's heart, I'm sure -
the characters - stock characters - that long
have figured in his surreal art. They all are there:
the Jew who guards the Torah and the cow,
the female fiddler and the angel, straight
from heaven - having fallen from it in
some canvases. His paints and brushes
idle on his lap, his hand is on his heart,
a wistful look pervades his youthful face.
We may choose our friends, so we are told,
but not our relatives. Chagall found ways
not just to choose, but to create the souls
to see him through the spirit times ahead.
This is my contribution for today to Writers Island's NATIONAL POETRY's Free Writing Month.