Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 9th

Today John and Marion Franklin joined me again, much to my delight. I entered The Met to see them in the Balcony waving. It was a welcome sight. We started out in the Astor Court (The Chinese Garden) not to write but just to enjoy. Marion also photographed me there. She has been to the museum many times, and knows it well and yet had not been in that room.

Afterwords we headed to Gallery 18 - Boucher, Chardin, Fragonad, and Watteau in order to write by Watteau's painting Mezzetin (Circa 1718-1720).

John wrote with me today, later we all had a very interesting discussion of art and hospitality; the fact that art like hospitality operates ideally under a reciprocal relationship, the artist or hosts skill in exchange for the visitors consideration. I am paraphrasing poorly here, but hopefully the idea is conveyed.

I have noticed that one of the effects that writing at the Met appears to have on my poems is that they interact with time differently. Not that my poems fit particularly well into the contemporary stream of poetry, but they now seem to belong to a different non specified era entirely. Even the poems about the apocalypse have a different, older language that shapes them.

The poem I wrote today is to my favorite poet, who is rather well known for writing about/to some of his favorite poets (Yeats, Byron). I don't usually like to write about poets, or poetry as part of a poem, but there are exceptions to every rule I guess.

To Auden

After excavating little graves,
it was the words you lifted,
placed carefully beside one another.
Ring worm thick.

The Ancients summoned down, moved
with the grace of marionettes.
You played with meter
till you married it with quiet

generosity, kept out of newspapers.
You summoned a sky without stars. Who could say
that it would not miss you?


Day of the Week: Thursday
Occupancy of Museum: Fairly busy, pretty loud.
Arrived at: 1:00
Departed at: 3:00
Read on Commute: Caring For Words in a Culture of Lies by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, which is a well crafted, thought provoking, quote filled book on the stewardship of words. It is a part English, part theology book on the importance of the language we use, and to what end we use it. So far my favorite quote in the book is by Thoreau "There are more secrets in my trade then any other".

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