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Monday 8 August 2011

Love Song

dVerse ~ Poets Pub set several prompts for this week, all of them relating to the work of Giorgio de Chirico. I chose this painting of his: "Love Song".

Anxiety is here that builds to war.
It's in the dark and melancholy streets,
it's in the very atmosphere that sinks
into the gut, the bones, the spleen, the spunk.
No one is here, it's not for humans, this.

But wait, we see the signs of man writ large,
though muddled and confused, as in a dream:
Apollo - plaster likeness, not himself -
a rubber glove, a ball, a puffing train.
What are these things to us - and what to him?

de Chirico is out to change the world.
These are the implements he'll use, laid out
as if a surgeon is about to cut
the cord that ties the world to evil thoughts -
He's working in the deepest shafts of mind.

Apollo, god of music, song and verse
is giving birth to man's creative urge.
A midwife's glove tacked to a wall to dry,
a ball awaits the long-expected child.
Art answers to the world's anxieties.

But no, I did not quite forget the train...
the artist's father worked the railway line.
A tiny train, it's going nowhere fast -
for this is not escapist art; it's here
in every now that ever was or is.


Claudia said...

very cool how you approach this david..starting with the question: what does it mean to us and what to him..
the surgeon, the midwife glove, the ball awaiting the child...somehow gave me shivers..and everyone will see it differently - i wonder what de Chirico would've thought by reading all the different poems rgd. his paintings..

Misterio Vida said...

cool as always david... :)

kaykuala said...

A beautiful rendition Dave. By alluding to the four images, Apollo,rubber gloves,ball and the train and reading into what Chirico was trying to relate to, set us wondering. You walked us through like a magician! You have always maintained that finesse. Enjoyed it!

Mishilicious Mishi said...

oh that is some beautiful poetry with a very mature thought behind it...I liked each line..and what I liked most was the symtry that you maintained throughout the poem...and i liked the appolo line too...you have a nice page Dave..tho you have a lot of stalkers but that wont stop me from Stalking you;p will keep on visiting ya;-)

Gerry Snape said...

Dave ...I am always amazed at the depth of thought that goes into your verse. This is so insightful. I have a friend in Turin and saw a lot of de Chirico's work and the difference in his prewar paintings to the post war ones was amazing. You are right that he was wondering what will happen when this war is all over.So many of those Italian artists became completely disallusioned with modernity after 1918. Thankyou once again.

Anonymous said...

"Anxiety is here that builds to war.
It's in the dark and melancholy streets,
it's in the very atmosphere that sinks
into the gut, the bones, the spleen, the spunk.
No one is here, it's not for humans, this."

a brilliant first stanza and all the way through till the very end. So interesting and smart.
Thank you.

Louise said...

"in every now that ever was or is."

There is something about this line which I think will stay with me for a long time!

Brian Miller said...

david, thoroughly enjoy your take on the prompt...i like the end where you say this is no escapist, but the here and now ever was and is...it captures the phlosophy behind it...also the tone you set throughout very well writ david...

Unknown said...

wow how the first verses could apply so much to today dissatisfaction with the world ...If only art was the answer...loved your take on this thank you for sharing

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


You are indeed an artist with words. A 'well painted' image of the artist's intention.
Perhaps though, there are times, when art just cannot provide an escape from the pains of reality.


jabblog said...

I wonder if you've read the artist's intention. He would be pleased with your interpretation, I'm sure.

annell4 said...

hummmm.... I find your write so very interesting! So his daddy worked for the little train?

Mark Kerstetter said...

The last two lines sum up the overall feeling this painting has always produced in me: it's always fresh, as if I'm seeing it for the first time.

I've not read a more compelling interpretation. Many have puzzled over the artist's renunciation of his earlier paintings, such as this one. It could be that the question he asked created an ache he couldn't bear to live with. it could be that he couldn't bear to accept that the world would not hear the question.

So nice to see you at dVerse, Dave. Thanks for sharing your mind and poetic gifts.

Scarlet said...

I like your interpretation David; you have captured the philosophy and the artist feature very well.

I like the details of you have highlighted in the picture...lovely share as always ~

Scarlet said...

sorry, it should be Dave ~

Anonymous said...

A well thought out (and apparently well researched) poetic response to a complex and perplexing painting!


Crafty Green Poet said...

I like your interpretation of the painting, it makes the reader look harder...

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable and thought provoking :-).

Dave King said...

You're so right about the shivers. That was intended by Chirico, I'm sure. Right also about everyone seeing it differently. Intriguing question you pose. We shall never know the answer, either to that or its complimentary: what did Chirico think of it?

Much obliged for that.

Many thanks for those thoughts. The difficulty is that we probably try to understand the significance of the images with one half of our brain; Chirico was probably using the other half of his. Difficukt to be as cool as he was being - I guess!

Thank you for that very welcome response. Very gratifying and reasuring. Please do stalk all you want! No complaints from me on that score!

Thank you for those thoughts. Yes, you are correct about painters becoming disillusioned with modernity. That happened particularly on the continent, I think. In England it seems to have been the public who became disillusioned with (the English version of) modernity, leaving the artists stranded. In America it was different again.

Hi and a very warm welcome to you, with many thanks for your generous comments. All feedback is helpful, some (this!) reassuring.

120 Socks
As always, very encouraging. Thank you so much.

Thank you again for your valuable and valued comments.

Hi and a warm welcome to you. Thanks for the comment. Yes, I believe the lines in question could apply to today's dissatisfaction. There is the same anst abroad, maybe.

Thanks for sharing those thoughts. Yes, I think I would go a bit further: I doubt whether art can ever provide a genuine escape from reality, and seriously doubt whether it should. Thanks again for a thought which is central to an understanding of such art.

Alas, no. I have always enjoyed looking at his work, but have not made a serious study of it. I think maybe its time I did something about that! Thanks for the thought.

He did, and the train appears in not a few of his works, so I guess it had some significance over and above that his dad drove it.

A warm welcome to my blog. Thanks for visiting and for the comment which I very much appreciate.
Your speculation as to the reasons behind his renunciation of this way of painting is intriguing - and possibly true. I do think, though, that he was not alone. Other artists forsook the new approach and were simply forgotten by their former fans.

Thanks for your visit and welcome. The comments are helpful and appreciated, as is all feedback.
Either will do: Dave or David!

Hi, a warm welcome and many thanks to you for your response. It's good to have you visiting and to hear your comments.

Crafty Green Poet
Many thanks as always for your presence and support.

Much appreciate that. Thank you.

Rose said...

You have a brilliant mind and you spin a wonderful tale with you pen - really enjoyed this one:)

Anonymous said...

Language, logic, and numerical skills are processed in the left cerebral hemisphere while emotional thinking, music and visual-spatial processing occur in the right. The lateralization of the brain is mediated by the corpus callosum; contrary to media portrayal there are no right-brained or left-brained people everything is available to us all. It is an interesting exercise to translate something that occurs on one side through the function of the other, painting into poetry. I think it leads to difficulty in understanding the logic of unrelated objects or alternately, the music of mathematics. You do a nice job of laying these issues bare in your poem through querying. Thank you.