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Wednesday 1 February 2012

Dang my hide, another one bites the dust!

Yesterday The Art Show came to town
and I was there, you may be sure,
first in through those rotating doors.
Abstract Expressionists. A few
by Jackson Pollock, one or two
from Rothko's brush - and quite a rush
from Wassily Kandinsky. He
it was who set these thoughts in train.

His over-riding aim,
to free the canvas of all vestiges,
all images, connecting it
to our external world - except,
he had this fear of being thought
the decorator who turned out
a tie or two, a carpet at his best.
And so he'd introduce
an echo, hidden image, a suggestion
of an object, person, something known,
to lead the viewer to the spirit world.

And thus it was it set me thinking:
why should poetry not do the same?

Purple reclines on grey I wrote -
not on an envelope, but on
the exhibition notes. Then dreams
drop. Damage done to end a love's
vulgarity. Undone. The starving cold
inglorious is like hot. Ergo ex-sexual.
That to the point of non-existence.
Falsetto false alarms swing empty in
the cannonade of whispers twinned
with certain brilliance. One is or one is not,
an emphasis on truth massaging influence
but speaks out of forgotten shape and
longs for passion. Consternation breaks
the antler hanging in the way of progress
where sounds of pain suggest the name
of he who is above the mind of change.

You may imagine what a masterpiece
I thought I had! And not just that,
groundbreaking poetry, I thought.
A whole new style of verse to set
the world alight. But going home, plumb
tight against the midnight to express
the lasting westward in my head,
and looking out across the concrete
happenstance, I realised
how everywhere around me
were gross sentences from which
no image could be drawn
that might refer to any world I knew
or could imagine in my wildest
darkness: January is Elation - one
inscribed upon a T-shirt. Love rolls,
another. Then on a bill board underneath
a naked blonde: Hug or Fix

Frustrating it is to write a masterpiece -
and one so avant-garde at that -
and then to hear the words: It's all
been done before, dear boy!


Yesterday I posted a Magpie Tale which then suggested this one, which you might call a spin-off from yesterday's.


Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Another great coincidence, yes it's all done before, I have just discovered, and put it in my latest post, how we walk in the wake of themes already considered and reconsidered...
but apart from that this poem of yours is another feat I have tasted, and these lines are simply marvellous:

Falsetto false alarms swing empty in
the cannonade of whispers twinned
with certain brilliance...

Brian Miller said...

nice...the hug or fix billboard makes for a very tight image sir...def relating in the taking of notes...and sometimes even looking at them wondering what i was thinking...ha

jabblog said...

A very nice spin-off from the Magpie.

Reading tee-shirts or indeed clothes of any sort is an interesting pastime . . . it's surprising what you see, sometimes.

haricot said...

They have to give "Novel prise" for quite new poems....

Carl said...

What a great poem... Ideas and images buried in nonsensical nomenclature. It may or may not be done all the time, but not so well as yours I might think.

Daydreamertoo said...

I never did like abstract art. I just don't 'see' the amazing in it at all.
Yes, life's stark reality doesn't really go with avant-garde, does it?
Great piece though :)

anthonynorth said...

Indeed, but it's infinite variation on the theme that counts.

Manicddaily said...

I love the purple reclining on grey and all the logos at the end--and the whole wish to make poetry more avant garde but to wish to stick to the human and approachable detail.

The crazy thing, of course, is that at this point the abstract expressionists and Kandinsky are in fact, not so avant garde-- Kandinsky painting almost 100 years ago! And I personally think his work and all the abstract expressionists are very hooked in to specific human images! I'm frankly surprised that some responders to the Magpies have been so down on the painting. (Not you.) But--you know what I mean.


Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable spin-off from yesterday's post :-).

Kass said...

It's more than a spin-off. It's more than stimulating or derivitive. It sets my mind a-whirl.

Dulcina said...

Hi, Dave.
First I must say I like Kandinsky's early period, but not his metamorphosis in the Bauhaus, nor his great synthesis. I know I don't understand his lines and his new elements of form psychology; I look for beauty in Art and I cannot find it in most modern works. I cannot see that "inner beauty" he speaks about. Those biomorphic forms where we are supposed to find microscopic organisms say nothing to me, but I cannot deny this revolutionary technique must have a lot of merit, something that my simple mind is not able to comprehend.
If we compare music, painting and poetry, the first one is the most abstract by nature.
When listening to music, we can imagine lots of different things and each individual has his own perceptions, most of the times completely different from the rest of listeners. Abstract painting approaches music more than realistic one since the former lets our imagination take flight. When we contemplate a realistic work, everyting is there, so we cannot dream.(to be continued)

Dulcina said...

I like when you say:
And so he'd introduce an echo, hidden image, a suggestion of an object, person, something known, to lead the viewer to the spirit world.
...and then you ask:
why should poetry not do the same?
Your next step is trying, good! The problem is that we are reading words and they have a meaning (or more), but when we are "reading" an abstract painting, our mind reads colours, lines and shapes in its own way, not influenced by anything else but our imagination.
All readers read the same words in a poem; every observer makes his particular reading of an abstract painting.
Music and painting have no barriers to be understood: both of them "speak" in a universal language, but Music is more ethereal. I think Music is the most spiritual art, the highest metaphor of God.
Poetry is written, so its words - not always its meaning - can only be understood by people who know the language in which it has been written. If well translated(literally or liberally), it loses most of the poet's subtle meaning and beauty. (to be cont.)

Dulcina said...

A masterpiece that you wrote on the exhibition notes?, why not? If that had been written by T.S.Elliot, be sure it would be considered as such. Perhaps some of your followers say it's a masterpiece.
Opinions are hardly objective, Dave, and many people - including critics - who boast of being connoisseurs, know very little. Besides, who is anyone to say what's good or bad...? You can say you like sth or not, but you must respect others tastes, or not?
Artists must create what their hearts tell them to do, even if nobody likes it; if an artist's aim is merely pleasing people, he is not a real artist for he is betrayig himself.
You can differ from experts' opinions even if you are considered as an illiterate.
No dish pleases all palates alike.

You have finished your poem with It's all been done before, dear boy!!, hehehe, yes,that's the voice of innovation!
I am not against innovation, Dave, but can't innovation be more beautiful sometimes?
I know you can ask me, what's beauty? Is beauty universal or are there many kinds of beauty as stars in heaven...?
Innovation, yes, but not for change's shake.(to be cont.)

Dulcina said...

I know some poems with lovely echoes,
hidden images and suggestions:
it's just a matter of listening carefully,
searching and perceiving beyond words...

If we cannot do it, it's not the poet's fault, but the reader's.

For example, when you say "Purple reclines on grey", I saw a dying violet adorning an old woman's hair.

Well, wish we could read all the groundbreaking poetry which was/is/ will be/ written!
All throughout History, the greatest innovators were first mad people and when years passed
- sometimes when they were already dead - , geniuses, that's life!
An artist mustn't care about others' opinions; he just must follow his inspiration.

Maybe this is my last comment till we can find another Internet provider.
(It's worth one thousand for its length, sorry for my verborrhea)
Till then... good luck and let's go on writing without giving up being ourselves.
A whole new style of verse to set the world alight, yes, a good mission in our obscure world

Steve Isaak said...

Chatty, effective, fun piece.

Mary said...

Dave, I have been a bit under the weather here, but I am back now....a silly reason perhaps, as I am trying to acquire a third dog and until that is settled I can't concentrate on much. But I don't think 'it' has all been done before, either in visual art or poetry. We each have our own slant....different from anyone else's. We all are unique in our own way!!!! Each poem is NEW.

Cloudia said...

That last quatrain haunts me!

Warm Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

sunny said...

beautiful post Mr Dave,your poetry is fasinating.

Dave King said...

we walk in the wake of themes already considered and reconsidered...
How true is that?
Thanks again for another greatly appreciated response.

You weren't thinking what I was thinking... surely?

Absolutely. Some I dared not include.

"Novel Prize"? Oh, I do like that idea!

Well, thanks for such a very encouraging response. I hadn't quite expected this, so a real fillip!

I do see the point of view, particularly of your second sentence. Thanks for the visit and the response. It's good to have it.

True, but not always appreciated.

Thanks for this. My mention of the avant garde was a reference to my poem, of course, and not meant to imply that Kandinsky was avant garde. Like the mention of it being a masterpiece, it was meant tongue-in-cheek - as was (almost) the whole poem, come to that. But you're right, the wish to push poetry on a bit without losing the human and approachable detail is genuine.

Like you, reading through (most, not all of ) the responses, I, too, was very sutprised by the degree and prevalence of the anti- Kandinsky and anti-abstract feeling. Considering the degree to which such images have become absorbed into contemporary life and been accepted, without meaning to be judgemental, it is surprising.

Many thanks for a thorough-going response.

Thanks for this.

Ah, you sure know how to please a guy, don't you? Thanks a lot.

Thanks for this - and how good it has been to hear from you as I had it in mind that you would be off line for a while. I do so hope that you will be away for the briefest of possible times. I shall miss you during your enforced absence.

I agree with much of what you say, but perhaps should remind you that abstract art has a long history from way before modern times. Islamic and Jewish art, for instance, in which representational aspects were banned.

You quote "purple reclines on grey" which I found pleasing as I thought it was perhaps the most successful image of my poem - and, dare I say it, abstract?

Thank you so much again, for a most generous response and all the best for the future. Hurry back.

Welcome to my blog and thanks so much for the comment.

Hi, good to know you are back. Hope you are fully recovered. Thank you for the comment. Absolutely so.

Thanks for that. Most interesting - and helpful to know.

Good of you to say this.

Jenny Woolf said...

And of course a painting is essentially different from a poem. You use a different bit of the brain. You can say things in words you can't say in paint, and vice versa.

Whenever I go to a photography show I always come out and see the photographs that are all around us.