Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Poetry and Painting

As in poetry, so in painting; as in painting, so in poetry. From am artistic point of view, there is much in that statement for the modern mind to disagree with. Painting and Poetry are very different mediums. The Eye and the Ear do not create images in the same way. But that linkage remains fast in modern thought: Pound placed Phanopoeia (sight) at the heart of his poetical practices, alongside Melopoeia (hearing).

Certainly, what Horace describes in his Ars Poetica is a dual pull within the human mind. And that has been a personal pull within the past year. I haven’t been bored with poetry, that could never be, but I have been more interested in drawing/painting: curious as to what it might tell me about relationships with people.

After a year away from poetry, I would have to say that I now have a different relationship with poetry. And my studies of people, through the photography, have shown me how Horace’s phrase grew into The Sister Arts of Poetry, Drawing and Landscape. There is something spiritual in viewing a graceful figure in a shaped, natural context.

It is interesting how sensibilities transmutate. So, the Augustan and Romantic Periods of Art are viewed as opposites…and Modernism is taken as a renunsciation of the past. Yet, Pope’s understanding of sight, sound and landscape changes into Shelley’s view of the Aeolian Harp (where sight and sound harmonise with Nature). And both world pictures shift into Pound’s insistence in The Cantos that the human mind enters the Cosmos through sight and sound perceptions.

If I have learnt anything over the past year, it is the power of ekphrasis within the mind, how a reflected love of poetry and painting moves the mind, can order it (Augustan)or rip it apart (Romantic) or connect it to something else… and create love.

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