Friday, March 28, 2014

Fig leaves unfold in spring sunshine

First, they are like little green candles at the tips of the stems. Then they unfold, first veined, and grow larger in beautiful ways

On my way here, I bopped through my email. I get email from the blog of John Paul Caponigro, famous photographer-son of famous photographer Paul Caponigro. (Google that and look for the photo of the running white deer!) Often on the blog he shares quotes, tips or interviews with other photographers. Tonight it was a series of quotes from Cindy Sherman, whose work I have not really understood. She photographs herself dressed up as other people. These photos make me nervous, command high prices, and give people a chance to pontificate at great length about the meanings and implications of this work. Sigh. . .

“We’re all products of what we want to project to the world. Even people who don’t spend any time, or think they don’t, on preparing themselves for the world out there – I think that ultimately they have for their whole lives groomed themselves to be a certain way, to present a face to the world.” – Cindy Sherman
as quoted on John Paul Caponigro's blog. Original source unknown.

Tonight I want to think about this. It rings true to me, even if I don't want to think that I act like this! I am pretty sure that it fits. What about you?? I have yesterday finished the first volume of Doris Lessing's WONDERFUL autobiography, which gives me another person, complex Doris herself, to consider while considering this.

Here's a short self-image poem from Ted Kooser, whose biography I am reading on Kindle which has revealed him to be less simple and more complicated than I had imagined. I was almost five when he was born. I didn't know he was also an artist, and an insurance executive!

Peeling a Potato

Pablo Casals should see me now
bowing this fat little cello,
peeling off long white chords.

I am not famous like Pablo, 
not yet. The amphitheater
of the kitchen sink is nearly empty.
As the notes reel out,
I hear only the hesitant clapping
of a few moist hands.

I am playing the solo variations
of J. S. Bach. Wonderfully,
I sweep with my peeler. See me lean
into the work, tight-lipped,
the light in my hair. Inspiration
trickles over my handsome old hands.

Ted Kooser, Weather Central, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994, page 68.

This poem, at 15 lines, is just about sonnet length. Three lines, six lines and six lines. I can't quickly see a regular pattern of stresses. The entire poem is an extended, embellished idea or thought and happy in tone. I like it, and find much of Kooser's work appealing. Today, I have been pounding those fertilizer stakes into the ground under the trees because we will probably be gone much of the summer. Perhaps I could think of it as making art while I pull up ivy that is going where I didn't send it. Perhaps I could write a poem . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment