My poetry kick continues, we are closing down 2011 with one of my very favorite poems, from my text book, freshman year of college:
From the Journals of the Frog Prince by Susan Mitchell
In March I dreamed of mud,
sheets of mud over the ballroom chairs and table,
rainbow slicks of mud under the throne.
In April I saw mud of clouds and mud of sun.
Now in May I find excuses to linger in the kitchen
for wafts of silt and ale,
cinnamon and river bottom,
tender scallion and sour underlog.
At night I cannot sleep.
I am listening for the dribble of mud
climbing the stairs to our bedroom
as if a child in a wet bathing suit ran
up them in the dark.
Last night I said, “Face it, you’re bored.
How many times can you live over
with the same excitement
that moment when the princess leans
into the well, her face a petal
falling to the surface of the water
as you rise like a bubble to her lips,
the golden ball bursting from your mouth?”
Remember how she hurled you against the wall,
your body cracking open,
skin shriveling to the bone,
the green pod of your heart splitting in two,
and her face imprinted with every moment of your transfomation?
I no longer tremble.
Night after night I lie beside her.
“Why is your forehead so cool and damp?” she asks.
Her breasts are soft and dry as flour.
The hand that brushes my head is feverish.
At her touch I long for wet leaves,
the slap of water against rocks.
“What are you thinking of?” she asks.
How can I tell her
I am thinking of the green skin
shoved like wet pants behind the Directoire desk?
Or tell her I am mortgaged to the leek-green tip of my soul?
Someday I will drag her by her hair to the river- and what?
Show her the green flame of my self rising at her feet?
But there’s no more violence in her
than in a fence or a gate.
“What are you thinking of?” she whispers.
I am staring into the garden.
I am watching the moon
wind its trail of golden slime around the oak,
over the stone basin of the fountain.
How can I tell her
I am thinking transformations are not forever?
Happy holidays! Todd’s 2011/2012 design celebrates that God blessed us with an additional terrier this year. God loves terriers, and a matched set of terriers brings extra blessings- like half eaten kleenexes, fights over toys and extra poop.
Have a great Christmas and may you meet all your goals in the New Year, as well as have a fantastic time.
We rarely blog about poetry. I don’t know why because I love it. This poem is on my mind. In fact, I used it in all my graduate school applications in explaining how and why I wanted to fight against the urge to quietus make, with a bare bodkin. . .
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,
The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely,
The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn
No Traveller returns, Puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all,
And thus the Native hue of Resolution
Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their Currents turn awry,
And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia? Nymph, in thy Orisons
Be all my sins remembered.
I was a kid when I came across the work of Mark Rothko. A dorky kid who spent too much time in the library, studying up on the graphic arts and art history. I remember seeing the work of Mark Rothko in a book and being confused. I didn’t understand it’s appeal, or why and how fields of color could ever be considered art. It wasn’t long before I found myself in front of Rothko’s artwork in person, and I knew.
Standing in front of Rothko’s work, for me at least, is about as close to a sacred experience as I get. How is that for cheese? But it’s true! When I see his huge paintings in person, the rest of the world drops away and time stops. How to put it into words? The work of Mark Rothko reduces nature to it’s most fundamental essence. The colors and texture hypnotize. Reality is peeled back, exposing the universe at it most basic and eternal level. It is like watching the big bang and beginning of everything. Or maybe it is entropy and heat death. It could be like standing on the event horizon, losing yourself in the gravitational pull of pure color. Or maybe it’s the void. Could be it’s not like any of those things at all. But I do know the artwork is amazing, beautiful and tragic.
“When I was a younger man, art was a lonely thing. No galleries, no collectors, no critics, no money. Yet, it was a golden age, for we all had nothing to lose and a vision to gain. Today it is not quite the same. It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption. Which condition is better for the world at large I shall not venture to discuss. But I do know, that many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow. We must all hope we find them.”
I first came across the artwork of Emmanuel Malin years ago on the conceptart.org forums and ever since I first saw his work, I check in regularly to see if he has created anything new. Always a treat if he has, and a feast for my eyes!
Malin lives and works in Paris, France. He started is career doing medical and scientific illustration, but has gone on to do all sorts of graphic design and illustration work in a number of fields including corporate communications, editorial illustration, comics, concept art and production work for the video game industry. Malin has a very strong style that comes through in everything he does.
Be sure to check out his website and blog! So many nice pieces to look through.