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.

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