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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Wooden Boy: Seascape


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File:Cardinal marker, Paignton - geograph.org.uk - 1031571.jpg

Cardinal marker, Paignton: photo by Derek Harper, 31 October 2008


.......Torbay:
........a bowl of syrup light

....................From Paignton you can
........watch the warship turn                      
...............................from cartoon vast
.................to smaller seeming
......................a heart contracted
 
.......shade gathered to mass

...evidently marked as

......How lovely is the state
......wherein we're 
......shadowed here

The sea goes from gold
..............to grey to gold again

 ...............
 ..............And always further out
..................(with limitless spread of merewif hair)  .........

 ........forever writhes ecstatically              




File:Gustav Klimt, Fishblood, 1898. India ink and pen on brown paper. 40 x 40.3 cm courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York..jpg

Fishblood: Gustav Klimt, 1898, india ink and pen on on brown paper 40 x 43 cm (Galerie St. Etienne, New York)

18 comments:

Jonathan Chant said...

A fine poem, beautifully illustrated.

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

"And always further out"

Meanwhile, fog against ridge this morning, as usual, and suddenly it was gone, golden of sun rising behind stand of eucalyptus across mesa, now heading further and further south.

9.30

grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, song sparrow calling from branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

limit of thought that which
stops, that something

frame that made the picture,
turning to, that view

grey white of fog reflected in channel,
cormorant flapping across toward ridge

TC said...

Re. the merewif, with her limitlessly spreading hair:

"[Klimt's] joyful creatures surrender themselves freely to the watery element as it bears them swiftly downward on its unchanneled course. We see here what will soon become a major preoccupation of Klimt -- one he shared with other art nouveau artists: woman's hair. The flowing tresses in this case mediate the sinuous bodies to the powerful thrust of the water. Klimt's women are at home in a liquefied world, where the male would quickly drown, like sailors seduced by mermaids."

-- Carl Schorske, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

Susan Kay Anderson said...

"a bowl of syrup light"

I want to drown in
although said to be a good swimmer
I would forget breathing
and collapse my little lungs
into the melthing of this--

where in a dream
the poet cautioned sternly:
"no rock-n'-roll in your poem"
I take this to be a warning
a caution
about the rumored undertow
from one who walked
away from the tracks
without heavy looks
and with them.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

"shade gathered to mass"

This is dense. This is dark matter. Unthinkable. My mind cannot bend this. It is so understated and dramatic. Wow. This is too much. Love it. A drug. Nobody could take much more of this without od'ing.

Artemesia said...

Very quantum poem! Your metaphors move alternately from expansions to contractions to the 'wave.'

Shadows to mass to the metamorphosed waves,radiant streaming of crearive emergy. Klimt's calligraphy for the feminine. . . the flowing hair, the cosmic waves; the sea as merewif, consumer and transformer.

Lovely, subtly powerful poem.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

gold grey gold

see this cloudy
gilt on the gates
in English places

what about
the hedges, the heath
the oak, the Linden
where is the space-time portal?

no place for owls
although they are there
guarding the entrance

to the sea
always back to the sea
in England.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

I wish I could write a poem as good as Hazen's L.A. slippery slide, one millisecond as good as Clark's furry sleepwalkers, as exotic as Vassilis Zambaras' classic outlook, as melted as Wooden Boy's, as pert as Chant's, as intellectual as Andrews', as lingual as Sandra's, as dropped as Curtis', as famous as the incognito clickers and as cormorant as Ratcliffe's. Artemesia=mirror.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

"...cartoon vast..."

Large and small at the same time.
My energy spent on these two words
on reading the space
between them
up and around their shapes

I see a dot on the horizon
it is a floater in my eye
it is a ship a rock a whale
immense interesting
old

TC said...

One recalls that the bottom of the sea always looked cartoon vast to the Water Babies.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

The ones living in Pyramid Lake are not so innocent as that little tyke. I am afraid to report that the merewif are not their moms.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Even more depressing than looking at these beautiful merewifs is to be compelled to add chili peppers to your own university teaching (even if it's only community college) evaluation hotness scale. That's what your poetry desperation came to before (or after?) starting your blog about teaching, posing as a detective, privately/publicly investigating the poetics of any given situation.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

(Nevada) water babies are only (safely) in Nevada's Pleistocene lakes. Just be careful when you swim in these ancient seas, you could be pulled down by your legs and eaten. Their faces are greenish-bluish and they have sharp teeth.

Wooden Boy said...

We had a copy of The Water Babies (illustrated by Arthur Rackham) that had been my father's as a child. A few wisps of merewif hair flowed through those pages..

The first photo seems to have been taken not so far from where the Wooden Girl and I were staying.
The Royal Navy does an awful lot of training out in those waters.

Those ships are the most beautiful and monstrous threats. They're painted in such a way as to reduce visibility, but there was no missing this beast. It was there for two days, the occasional turnabout for life signs.

These seeming automata that play out an uglier game than chess...

The Klimt is just right; unstoppable flow. Fishblood is a remarkable title.

Thank you, all.

TC said...

For Old English majors in the party... and speaking of beasts:

The merewif is the hero Beowulf's worst bad dream. After he slays the monster Grendel, Grendel's mother, the dragonesque water witch or merewif, bent on exacting vengeance, attacks the mead hall. Beowulf is assigned the job of dealing with her. No easy business that. No sooner has he entered her realm -- the lake, or mere, over which she presides as merewif -- than he finds himself being rudely dragged into her lair. Some hospitality! thinks Beowulf. Great bother ensues. Just as the hero is on the brink of giving up the ghost, he glimpses a sword twinkling there in the darkness of the mere. He seizes it and uses it to lop off the head of the merewif.

(Manners left something to be desired, in that period.)

TC said...

("...but there was no missing this beast.")

Nin Andrews said...

Oh, yes, women's hair. My favorite. Also in Lichtenstein. I love this.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Merewif's Lake

Small sea
of danger
so salty and strange
nothing will grown
on its banks

no distracting brush
at Walker Lake

not really a lake
at all
nor refreshing.

Some place to look
look and look.

The dry ancient shoreline
of nothing nothing
memory of a once-commanding ocean.

Lake Tahoe positively Paradise
and deeper blue
comparatively

with no disturbing
pull
so heavily down
and a river lined
with cottonwoods
the bullheads hidden
where the horney toads roam
freely and pinenuts are prized.