our dialogue as a haiku poet with art
There are many ways into writing about a particular artwork. See towards the end a guest appearance by Patricia McGuire reacting to an artwork by George Segal.
the hare with amber eyes
jumps back in again
sketching the shapes
in my mind
Yomiuri Shimbun, Go-Shichi-Go Haiku in English / Using poetic color in haiku (Japan, 2004)
GUEST EKPHRASTIC HAIKU
"I don’t think of it as a description of the sculpture, but rather it is a little story inspired by what I saw, and coloured by my experience of living here in Zürich. I think that qualifies as ekphrasis, but you might think differently, and you are the expert."
"Well, even before I looked up the particular artwork, I got an instant spark off the verse. Perhaps because I've been both an artist (as a mosaicist, knowing time, even a whole day, could drift into night), and of course as a painter & decorator a la general builder with equally long hours sometimes."
Are these burns on his or her fingers, forgetting they are holding a cigarette in one hand? Is it a long burning cigarette left balanced on the edge of a table, that also holds absinthe or brandy?
Are they self-inflicted burns? Are they the last cigarette's burning effect as the artist collapsed into or near their bed?
Is the artist finally so destitute they are on the street, homeless without a patron?
When I couple the verse with the artwork I obtain further insights (mine alone, other's will be different). It's a man abandoned, not just by his family and friends and associates, but by himself. Another man casually watches the sprawled out figure lying near him, and smokes a cigarette.
New York City In The 1970s: Living It Low In The Bowery
When Leland Bobbé shared his pictures of 1970s New York City we loved them so much we split the gallery in two. If you’ve not seen his photographs of Times Square: Peep Shows And Pimps, please do check them out. In this gallery we see snapshots of New York’s otherworldly Subway system, China Town and The Bowery before the money moved in and the cool kids started to dress like they were grit-poor.
The artist often captured various people, not just people who were alcoholics but
those desperate from poverty: https://flashbak.com/new-york-city-in-the
I said to Patricia that as a professional Mall Santa I would travel into my old home city of Bristol (England) over November and right up to and including Christmas Eve and there were so many homeless, in various conditions, so this
interpretation worked powerfully for me. It's got good complexity whether matched with the artwork or not.
Patricia lives in Zürich, Switzerland. A Londoner by birth, when
people ask her where she is from she says she is Swiss, with Irish
blood and an English heart. (Apologies to Morrissey.) She splits her
time between professional recruiting, podcasting and writing haiku
and stories for young adults.
of the Page with Karen & Alan: