Friday, 25 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Sunday, 2 October 2011
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
This beautiful book includes all of Melaneia's artwork from her Gloaming series,the four poems that I created to accompany her paintings and a new poem of mine entitled 'Gloaming', which you can read below:
Sunday, 21 August 2011
The painting above this posting is by Giorgio de Chirico and is entitled 'The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street'. The original artwork is oil on canvas, painted in 1914. Heavily influenced by the writings of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, De Chirico painted familiar objects but juxtaposed them in such a way that his paintings took on an alien, often haunted affect that engaged immediately with the unconscious mind: Pittura metafisica or Metaphysical art.
'Underneath this reality in which we live and have our being, another and altogether different reality lies concealed.' Nietzsche
The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street
Saturday, 9 July 2011
Monday, 6 June 2011
What Barthes seems to be saying is that the meaning of a text/work of art owes nothing to its creator and everything to its interpretor. 'The birth of the reader,' he hypothesised, 'must be at the cost of the death of the author.'
For me, creating an ekphrastic poem without acknowledging the artist's intentions is both pointless and disrespectful. Whilst the poem will always be my interpretation of the artwork, it must still pay homage to the art and be driven by the visual narrative played out upon the canvas. I can put my own personal spin onto it - even use it as a metaphor for my own experiences - but I must never lose sight of the fact that it is the artist's creativity and hard labour that have spawned and inspired my poem.
With this in mind, I have attempted to celebrate the existence of a truly wonderful artist within the body of my poem. Not only does Melaneia 'live' inside her painting, she is 'pulsing with feminine light' as the creator of a stunning piece of art.
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Melaneia for inviting me to collaborate with her on this project. It has been such a privilege to step inside her works of art and, driven by emotions generated by her incredible creativity, produce this series of four poems. For those of you who have connected with Melaneia's artwork and my accompanying poems, we will be publishing them together in a commemorative book - hopefully during the coming summertime. Look out for more details on this blog and Melaneia's website.
Should I prise open those pleached fingers
and snatch you from the grip of the beast?
Thursday, 26 May 2011
Monday, 16 May 2011
It is a Shakespearean sonnet written in iambic pentameter & the rhyming scheme is: a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g
In Greek Mythology, Merope was one of the seven Pleiades. Astronomically, she is one of the seven sisters in the star cluster Pleiades in the constellation of Taurus.
I believe the correct pronounciation of Merope is 'Me-ro-pee'.
Monday, 9 May 2011
As with the previous two poems I sat myself down, took several deep breaths and stepped inside Melaneia's painting. I wandered round, gazing at the remarkable images and artefacts contained within it, even stopping to speak to them at times.
When I stepped back out I had little idea where to start. I had not connected to the painting like I had on previous occasions. I felt unable to find my place within it. Something was troubling me, preventing me from beginning. Although the artwork intrigued me, I was aware that it also disturbed me.
I looked at it again from the outside, confounded by its surreal quality. It reminded me of a Salvador Dali painting entitled 'Sleep' which is a painting of a monstrous head propped up by crutches. And then it struck me: Recession was the narrative of a nightmare. Now I had my starting point. I could climb back inside & start to gather all the symbolism & allegories together in order to create my poem.
For a whole day I toiled to create a blueprint of my poem. I could sense a journey of individuation, as if the dream contained unconscious material that, when interpreted, would somehow enlighten me. But I struggled and struggled to identify a coherent pathway from art to poem. I began to write but my words were laboured and forced. After two more days I began to despair until the strangest feeling began to consume me. I felt as though I was trapped inside painting and poem and could not find a way out.
And then it suddenly dawned: this was about death! My resistance to face up to this ~ my own mortality ~ had prevented me from engaging with the artwork. The painting was loaded with scary, deathly images but, having realised what was happening, I was able to surrender to these images and, in doing so, transcend the polarity of the life-death split. As Jung wrote, acknowledging the imminence of death and the limits of our existence allows us to let go of our egos, freeing the way for our creative Self to discover true meaning.
Finally, having overcome the obstacles that had prevented me from 'letting go' of my ego, I realised who the serene looking lady was at the bottom of Melaneia's painting. She was my anima, my femme inspiratrice, waiting patiently to accompany me back from my nightmare to a new space brimming with creative potential.
Above is Melaneia's incredible painting entitled Recession from her 'Gloaming' series ~ and here is my poem:
Saturday, 23 April 2011
You always said he would be early -
kidded by a false spring that, one morning,
broke inside you,
hormones melting in quick thaws
of pulsed muscle.
During those seven moons you were touched
by so many luminaries, some shining all the way
With waters spilling on every pain
you saw those stars sink
inside the doctor's eyes.
After two days you hauled back your body
and shuffled down corridors,
stepped out through those glass doors.
And the world was big with cars,
the weather gentle
with feminine light.
'No more frosts now,' you said
as white tulips settled in their beds,
eggshells cracked in sunlight.
Friday, 8 April 2011
This process is known as ekphrasis and there are many examples of poets creating such poems that have been inspired by works of art: 'The Disquieting Muses' by Sylvia Plath, which is based on the painting by the same title by Giorgio de Chirico, 'The Starry Night' by Anne Sexton based on the hugely famous painting by Vincent van Gogh and, much more recently, the absolutely stunning 'What the Water Gave Me' by Pascale Petit, which contains fifty-two poems in the voice of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.
Here is Melaneia's painting 'Static' from her 'Gloaming' series that inspired my poem:
And here is my poem:
Only the sweet iron of stars and summer lightning
Thursday, 17 March 2011
These objects are not chosen for their formal properties but for the tales they could tell. Each bibelot (curio), whether a treasured or neglected possession, invites speculation about its history and, by association, our own: where does it come from? What has it endured? How will it be remembered?
You stood back at first, stunned by its opalescence
and nacreous pinks. Slowly, as if to spin out the thrill,
you raised it to your ear and gasped as Etesian winds
picked up those apple-scented murmurs of Eden.
Friday, 4 March 2011
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
R ‘Farewell, my rock.’ *She watches as I crumble into a million particles. She smiles as she feels the mountain rise inside her chest*