Friday, December 26, 2014

Perfect Painting

Andrew Wyeth's painting of Helga conveys weight, and not just physical weight; I think it is supremely sensual. It stays in the memory and compels you to revisit it.
However, it  is not just the portraits, but his landscapes and still-life studies: there is an atmosphere to them, a feeling of being present, that is very unusual. The choice of  palette, the naturalness of his subjects and  compositions, his precision in depicting rural life , people and places. Maybe too we feel like we've got to know Helga, ourselves neighbours.
Whatever, I could  have written this poem for Wyeth and Helga. 


i.    ( painting ) 

The chevron shadow beneath her chin,
seagull-winged clavicles,
almond-eyed navel,
lush ravine of her groin,
parabola shade beneath her breast,
arc-topped thigh: 

he exposes these like an archaeologist
dusting a stone’s markings
into the light of day. 

ii. (one year later) 

The weight of her breasts,
the flesh-fold across her belly,
boniness of  her knees,
the muscles down  her calves,
knuckles of  that wrist
angled over the back of the chair: 

much more than seeing,
the feeling  impressed into my hands.

No comments: