Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Next Reading:
The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen

Some Ovid.

Also, here is some of Eric's video work
influenced by this piece of art.

Please read this poem by Charles Bukowski

I thought that we had a very interesting conversation about how ekphrasis operated though the Ovid to the Bruegel and then to both Auden and Williams. I wanted to point out that though the Auden poem (1938) came before the Williams (1960), and it would be highly unlikely that Williams was not aware of the Auden, it does not follow that they moved progressively. By this I mean that Williams was not working off of the Auden as much as he was, like Auden, coming at the painting with his own approach. This might help address the concern that a diminishment or a washing-away is taking place as was mentioned in class. Also, important to consider is that each act of art progressing from art to art functions very differently. I am including this article and particularly the table referred to as Figure 1 might help clarify the variety of ways that poems are written following a piece of art. The variations continue to multiply as we might add the second or third "ripple' from the stone thrown as the original artwork, but beyond those variations, there are the detours made when more than on poet or artist is responding to a piece and to those pieces and so on.

The possibilities become truly endless and the methods, not the least of which is the issue of whether a piece becomes more present in the subsequent artworks or washes away and leaves something nearly unrecognizable varies widely.

Just for fun here are some other examples of Bruegel's painting.

Edward Field Icarus
Diane Abse Bruegel in Naples
Michael Hamburger's Lines on Icarus and Ronald Bottrall's Icarus

Finally, if something seems missing in the treatment of a piece or you can see another way to do it, therein lies your idea/your poem. For example, Kelly's wish for there to be "more and not less" as the imitations continued (putting the tomatoes, mushrooms and more back into the "egg" analogy that she described in class) then there might be the poem she would write: the one that goes at the material as she wishes to see it approached. With all of these works and all of these approaches, it is my hope that you'll see gaps or find inspiration in how you would do it instead.

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