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Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday Still Life

What should I put in my Still Life?
Not banjos or guitars,
Chianti bottles, samovars,
exquisite drapery
and through the open window there
some idyll to be seen.

No, pull the curtains, draw the blinds,
then slam the shutters shut.
Now fix them fast to wall and frame,
keep out the wind that blows.

Set on the boards the meanest fare;
no frills of sumptuous art or crafts
except a cross or crucifix
should be included there;
some water and a wholesome loaf
and something that will symbolise
the shadow cast by man.

This is my contribution for today to Writers Island's NATIONAL POETRY's Free Writing Month.


Isabel Doyle said...

pure and spartan for the day

Titus said...

I echo Isabel. Thanks for stilling me for a few minutes.

Stan Ski said...

The final two lines provoke so many disturbing images...

Elisabeth said...

You paint such powerful images with your words and rhythms, Dave, however ostensibly spartan. This one especially so, and as Stan Ski suggests those last two lines are powerful, but for me also the first lines: your 'Still Life', it has so many layers of meaning. Thanks, Dave.

Tabor said...

I have read you for some time and this is certainly the Spartan and pure still life you would create. Frills, romance, indulgence are not your cup of tea...oooo how about a cup of tea in the still life. Just a little hedonistic touch? You wouldn't need cream or sugar.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You ended too soon, David. I was waiting to read something about your breakfast...then realized my sight was seeing yesterday's post.

Love the way you strung the verbiage out.

Did you ever read, "scribble, scribble, scribble?" by Simon Schama.

I just got a copy through Strand bookstore (a8 miles of books under one roof) and am spending more time looking up the meaning of words than anything else. He must have a regiment of looker uppers to come up with so many ways to talk about everything from Churchill to Jehovah.

I just finished a piece of Afraid at Night and it was about "Shuttering-in" and I remember how it used to be with the shutters slammed shut both inside and out.

flaubert said...

Dave, this started out with a fairly lighthearted approach about the artist's indecision aa what to paint, and ended with a hard hit at reality. Quite apropos for today. Thanks.


Lolamouse said...

I was wondering where this one was going at first too. The last two lines made it clear. Very nicely done.

Kathryn Magendie said...

That water and wholesome loaf play off each other so well - one seems denying and the other fortifying ...

so love this poem!

Hannah Stephenson said...

"...and something that will symbolise
the shadow cast by man."

I keep thinking about what a good "something" would be here...

Gerry Snape said...

such a moving collection ofthoughts together in this poem Dave. Brilliant
the verification is wabeness! which nicely sums up a lot of my wabi-sabi life!

Elizabeth said...

Have to echo all the others, those last two lines bring in all kinds of daylight, even though the shutters have been closed,


Anonymous said...

I like the spare nature of this poem, especially the last two lines.

Carl said...

I am blown away by this....
Set on the boards the meanest fare;
no frills of sumptuous art or crafts

Another great one Dave

Other Mary said...

Personally, i might have gone for bread and wine, but seriously you are a very talented write.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Yes, Dave I agree, the parable path is intensifying...man should make himself just essential and scarce.

Dave King said...

Thanks Isabel.

And again, thanks.

So many are there that I could only hint at them.

Thanks Elisabeth. I did play with the idea of using the French phrase nature morte. Still not sure if I've missed a trick, there.

Sure, I'd go for that - even a bottle of wine, just not a fancy one!

Honest Abe
Hi, and welcome to the blog. I am a fan of Simon Schama, but no, I have not read that one. Must try to find it. Afraid at Night sounds interesting, too. Many thanks for such a fascinating response.

Yes, you are correct. That is the way it reads, though it was not the way it came to be written!!! Interesting comment. Thanks.

Much appreciate the comment. Thanks.

Kathryn Magendie
Hi, good to have you visiting and commenting. Such feedback is invariable useful and much appreciated.

Me too, but there are just too many of them...

Well, I had to look up your references, and was pleased I did. You've put me on to something new and potentially important, I'm thinking. Thanks, doesn't quite fill the bill, but thanks anyway!

Interesting, very interesting. Some might have associated them with with the dark, but Im with you as it happens.

Hi and many thanks for that.

Once more, thanks for the support.

I would be delighted to join you! Much thanks.

Agreed, wholeheartedly. Maybe the poet must lead.

The Blog of Bee said...

A perfect piece for such a day of remembrance.