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Monday, 7 October 2013

Stevie Smith: Nor We of Her to Him


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File:Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Drei Akte im Walde - 1933.jpg

Three Nudes in the Forest (Drei Akte im Walde): Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1933, woodcut, 35.3 x 49.7 cm (Kirchner Museum, Davos)



He said no word of her to us
Nor we of her to him,
But oh it saddened us to see
How wan he grew and thin.
We said: she eats him day and night
And draws the blood from him,
We did not know but said we thought
This was why he grew thin.
 
One day we called and rang the bell,
No answer came within,
We said: She must have took him off
To the forest old and grim,
It has fell out, we said, that she
Eats him in forest grim,
And how can we help him being eaten
Up in forests grim?
 
It is a restless time we spend,
We have no help from him,
We walk about and go to bed,
It is no help to him.
Sometimes we shake our heads and say
It might have better been
If he had spoke of us to her
Or we of her to him.
Which makes us feel helpful, until
The silence comes again.




Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Three Nudes in the Forest (Drei Akte im Walde). (1933)

Three Nudes in the Forest (Drei Akte im Walde): Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), 1933, woodcut, 35.2 x 50 cm (Museum of Modern Art, New York)


Three Nudes in the Forest (Drei Akte im Walde): Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), 1933, woodcut (counter-proof), 35.2 x 50 cm (Museum of Modern Art, New York)


Florence Margaret (Stevie) Smith (1902-1971): Nor We of Her to Him, from Scorpion and Other Poems, 1972

5 comments:

Ed Baker said...

you must be looking over my shoulder.... am now reading a book that I've had since 1964 or 5,,,, first edition of EROS DENIED !
and I notice that Smith wrote the poem in about 1975 ....

the wood-block prints and the poem CELEBRATORY

"abstract nues in nature" !!!! Ain't it the truth ?

abstract with an hint of narrative..... and color.


if I had your email address I'd send you one of mine one of many:..... Abstract Goddesses

"Yellow Nudes in Nature"

Jonathan Chant said...

Lovely post. Just got in from the forest grim.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Sad but we shall grin
And bear it to hear
Stevie Smith again.

TC said...

Yes, that 4:15 from the forest grim is always running late.

And a good thing.

Wooden Boy said...

Something in the Kirschner prints makes me think of Smith's own drawings.

One of those infernal closed circuits that even pity can't break.