Art & Poetry

Our local art museum held a recent contest called Words on Canvas asking students to submit poetry or prose pieces inspired by certain works in their collection. I used to write poetry as an undergraduate regularly so this was an amazing chance to flex those muscles again and to really reside in the art pieces in an unusual way. I chose to write about Bertram Hartam’s painting City Blocks. The resulting poem is below:

IMG_20180210_122200110
City Blocks by Bertram Hartman c.1929

The Place Where We Dwell

The wall-ridden people in the city, they stir,
Their thoughts brazen and free like birds,
Their souls full and mottled
like the high-rise walls,
The insides of their skulls a place for
the graffiti of being
Signs of experience and civilization,
like an oil slick in a harbor, an
oil slick of humanness, beauty and noise
Castoffs and culture, scraps and silver splinters,
rage of steel-laced angles and corners
The thump-thump rise, itch of internal amorphous beat,
The breath of socketed despair
The breath of burning struggle
Of punch-drunk ambition
The breath of disquiet
Of zoetic love
Of thick-skinned passion
All trying to swell, to climb, to rise to heaven in one heaving breath
Visible
In a divine line of view
The place where we dwell

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s