In 1916, W. B. Yeats wrote a dance play, “At the Hawk’s Well”, inspired by Japanese Noh theatre (to which he had been introduced by Ezra Pound) and Irish folklore.
The Japan Society recently had an exhibit of UK artist Simon Starling’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Yeats’ work, along with some of the art that inspired both him and Yeats.
I watched the beautiful video of the hawk dancing several times
and then I drew masks until my hand cramped up and my legs hurt from standing.
When I looked at the drawings, it struck me how humans have always struggled to understand and live their lives well. We are united in both sorrow and dignity, all cultures, throughout history, all over the earth.
When I began my response to Jane Dougherty’s prompt “Freedom”, I first looked in my collage box of faces for couples that seemed to work together. At the same time I was thinking about the Secret Keeper’s words for the week of October 3rd: BRAVE – TEND – PURE – LEAD – DANCE .
I decided to do a Cento Poem, one that takes its lines from the works of other poets. I like to play with words, and this is also a good excuse to read a lot of different poetry by a lot of different poets. So I collected poetic phrases that contained the words (not that difficult with google at your fingertips) and played around with different arrangements.
This couple seemed to fit the spirit of the words. And given the state of the world, perhaps I was anticipating the state of mind I would need for 2017…
O my brave soul!
Untended there beneath the heedless sky
leap and sparkle, dance and shine
in a world of pure imagination
Up and lead the dance of Fate!
Poets, in order of appearance:
Walt Whitman, Sidney Lanier, Sarojini Naidu, Roald Dahl, Aeschylus
I found this painting when I was looking through a portfolio. It’s from a few years ago, fairly recent. I think the source of the image was a dance review in the newspaper. This is what the magnetic oracle had to say about it.
For the Elusive Trope’s Magnetic Poetry Saturday Challenge.
Try it and see what it has to say to you…
rock reflects silent
It’s true…this collage makes no sense. Both collage and poem are a response to Rattle Poetry’s Ekphrastic challenge for May. Once again, my poem was not selected, which leaves me free to make my own art for it. Any excuse to use body parts in a work of art…landscapes are full of them, right?
Especially when brambles are dancing to lightning’s song.
You can see the original art, and the artist’s selection of a poem to accompany it here.
Time to dance!
by Kerfe Roig
sweet sugar. mix
one at a time. Combine un
til cool completely.
Collage illustration by Kerfe Roig.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My daughter loves to bake, and I altered her altered recipe for green tea cupcakes from allrecipes.com with a haiku and a joyful dance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kerfe Roig writes poems for art and makes art for poems. Sometimes the recipe includes both. You can follow her process at methodtwomadness.wordpress.com, the blog she has with her friend Nina.
Self-portrait drawing by Kerfe Roig.
Let us go in and dance once more
On the dream’s glimmering floor,
Beneath the balcony festooned with roses.
Let us go in and dance once more.
–Conrad Aiken, from “Nocturne Of Remembered Spring”
American poet and novelist Conrad Aiken was forever marked by the murder-suicide deaths of his mother and father when he was 11. He later attempted suicide himself, and was very interested the psychology of identity. Mentored by his teacher, poet and philosopher George Santayana (“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”), he was also influenced by the French Symbolists, Freud, Poe, Whitman, and the forms and sounds of music. He is largely responsible for establishing Emily Dickenson’s reputation as a major American poet; he edited her “Selected Poems”. He also served as Poet Laureate of the United States.
Aiken’s poems seem like long meditative dreams to me; they are full of music and beautiful images. He has a reputation as a “difficult” poet, but I think maybe we just lack the patience for long verse. I found sections of several of his poems that seemed a good fit for these pink/neutral grids, but finally settled on the roses-dream-dance image.
You can read the entire poem here: http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/2315/nocturne_of_remembered_spring
You can see all the 100-day project posts here: https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/
March went out like a lion
A whippin up the water in the bay
Then April cried and stepped aside,
And along come pretty little May!
May was full of promises
But she didn’t keep ’em quickly enough for some
And a crowd of doubtin’ Thomas’s
Was predictin’ that the summer’d never come
But it’s comin, by gum,
We can feel it come,
You can feel it in your heart
You can see it in the ground
You can see it in the trees
You can smell it in the breeze
Look around! Look around! Look around!
June is bustin’ out all over
All over the meadow and the hill!
Buds’re bustin’ outa bushes
And the rompin’ river pushes
Ev’ry little wheel that wheels beside the mill!
–Rodgers and Hammerstein, from “Carousel”
My mother loved Broadway musicals, and she played her record albums over and over. These songs are imprinted in my memory. So June…it’s bustin out all over! I decided to make my monthly grid bust out from it’s square form too, and when I finished and looked at it I realized…well, you can’t escape your influences.
You can see and hear “June is Bustin’ Out All Over”, with choreography by Agnes de Mille, from the 1956 film of “Carousel”, here: https://www.ncfr.org/news/zippy-weekly-videos/june-bustin-out-all-over-rhs-carousel-1956
For our spring collaboration, Marcy Erb and I did our collage and poetry commentaries on the paintings we chose independently, and I was looking forward to seeing how they played off each other. This is perfect! Her visual angle is different from mine, and yet the same spirit links them. Thanks, Marcy!
It is my great pleasure to present the first of two posts featuring the spring collaboration between Ms. Kerfe Roig and myself. We’ve collaborated before on art and poetry (for examples, I recommend this one and this one), and for those we used the poems as the starting point. For this one Ms. Roig suggested we start with the art and each create a piece inspired by it. We began with Miriam Schapiro’s amazing and dynamic painting “I’m Dancing as Fast As I Can” – please click here! to see the painting.
Above is Ms. Roig’s gorgeous collage and below is my poem – both inspired by Ms. Schapiro’s contemporary cubist classic. Enjoy!
Yellow Dancer on the Train
A train went by
as we waited in the near dawn
and a yellow triumph flew by
as an ad for an art show
glued to the side
I recall a painting
I saw many…
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