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Friday, 1 January 2010

Missing


.


edward-hopper-western-motel






The closer the bone the sweeter the bite.
Among wandering thoughts of slips between
Cups and lips, afternoon meets night
In the shadowed Hopper picture window

Shrouded in analgesic light
At which the woman in the claret traveling dress
Waits with unreadable gaze for the missing second figure,
A hatless man in a plain dark suit

Who does something mysterious with his hands.






Western Motel
: Edward Hopper, 1957 (Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven)


5 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,
Thanks for that "traveling claret dress," that "missing second figure," this picture.

zevstar said...

how opaque is the transparent veil
that hopper always seemed to draw over his work giving us all his mood and ours as one

TC said...

THAT


"traveling claret dress," that

"missing second figure," that


transparent veil that

hopper always seemed to draw


over his work, giving us all

his mood and ours


as one -- that this

picture of us


looking at this picture, also

be an absence

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Yes, that "transparent veil" -- but did he put it over his work or lift it (as in Shelley, the poet "lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar")?

TC said...

The distances between persons absolute, the objects unfamiliar, the spaces between things filled with silence.

The events of significance, if any, having already happened -- perhaps some time ago -- anyway well "offstage"?

Some critics read this as a picture of a woman traveling alone.

But her aloneness would seem to be at least equally great were she to be "in company with" that missing man with the unmentionable (I nearly wrote) hands...