Friday, February 23, 2018
Trains, Monet, and Understanding a Poem
There's a precedent for putting a train on a bridge in a painting. Monet at Argenteuil did several paintings with the train on a bridge. In this painting it is the Franklin Avenue Shuttle crossing Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a 12x16 oil on panel.
I came across an interesting quote in Helen Vendler's book, The Odes of John Keats:
"I know no greater help to understanding a poem than writing it out in longhand with the illusion that one is composing it--deciding on this word rather than another, this arrangement of its masses rather than another, this prolonging, this digression, this cluster of senses, this closure."
That is the attitude that I have when drawing or painting, trying to understand what I am looking at, and creating an illusion that I am composing with sensibility what it is that is there.