Art in Cooperation

This Thursday, I went on a field trip to an art museum.

It was excellent.

It was a special poetry day – where you match a poem you brought or wrote to a piece of art, and then read it while people are viewing the piece. You’re also encouraged to write your own poem based on a piece of art.

I matched two Dickinson poems and wrote one. This is what I did:

charons-sabbatical-james-andrews
“Charon’s Sabbatical” by James Andrews

A Day – by Emily Dickinson

I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.

The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”

But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while

Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.

I feel this match is pretty self explanatory – it was one of the first paintings I saw, funnily enough, and A Day was the first poem I decided I’d take with me to the museum. I just thought it was absolutely beautiful, and I saw the amethyst, “purple stile,” and “little yellow boys and girls” very clearly. (Also, the painting is much more pigmented in person – I couldn’t find an image to do it justice).

Greenwich Village or Choice
“Spring Night, Greenwich Village” by Martin Lewis

Choice by Emily Dickinson

Of all the souls that stand create
I have elected one.
When sense from spirit files away,
And subterfuge is done;

When that which is and that which was
Apart, intrinsic, stand,
And this brief tragedy of flesh
Is shifted like a sand;

When figures show their royal front
And mists are carved away, —
Behold the atom I preferred
To all the lists of clay!

I really, really loved this piece. I sat looking at it for almost five minutes, and thought, “this would be absolutely perfect if there was just one couple tucked away somewhere in the crowd.” And then, like magic, I noticed: to the left of the shop, in a little alcove, a couple tucked away together amid the bustle of the village’s life. It just fits the poem like a glove, I feel.

the forebeing
“The Night of Forebeing” by R.H. Ives Gammell

Creation by Emma Selle

Before there were stars in the sky,

Emptiness filled the universe – all corners.

Great it was – the vastness, that is – until

In a single moment, in a great flash

Nothing was no more.

Nothing was banished, and

In its place grew All: matter, light,

Nature. In place of the Great Emptiness, the Universe began –

Growing to a great fullness.

So it was and ever shall be – world without end.

Okay. So. Vulnerability time! I’m always a little more insecure about my attempts at poetry, as it is not my forte.

Going in, I had not intention of writing any poetry. But then I saw this poem, and I just loved it. It “spoke to me,” if we wanna get all hipster with it. So I sat for fifteen minutes and stared at it and then wrote that (and then rewrote it a couple times until I liked it).

I chose to do an Acrostic because I like them and it seemed to fit with the picture. I don’t know why I feel that way, I just do.

All in all, I immensely enjoyed the trip, and I really liked my art/poetry combinations. So I shared them with you.

That is all.

Love you! Write soon.


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