11 June 2013
My brother is visiting from the US, and we went to the Museum of Edinburgh today. I’ve never been there before. So many interesting things, but my favorite was this silver bowl with Yates poetry. The placard read:
Silver Bowl on Slate Plinth (2000), William Kirk, Edinburgh
This piece was commissioned by the Friends of the City Art Centre and Museums to mark their 25th anniversary. It was gratefully accepted on behalf of the Museum of Edinburgh by the Lord Provost in 2001. The work of William Kirk is characterised by simplicity of form. The bowl is handraised and the slate plinth is hand carved by the artist. The slate is inscribed with an extract of a poem by W.B. Yates.
I like lists and I like discoveries. And discoveries in list form are even better. Here are some:
I could not be, even now, just particles of mist
but I might wish to be —
I couldn’t be mist because mist
is airborne, mist doesn’t wear black
and dirty up so many pages.
No mother is only mist.
Even my child tells me I’m scared and
in the same breath says I’m scared of
nothing. Depends how you define “nothing” —
I think it’s a little shard of the whatnot
I keep trying to name.
An empty glass can be said to hold nothing.
Perhaps I was mist in a previous life,
maybe that’s why I can’t understand
these instructions. Or perhaps I’ll
be, in my next life, mist. When did it
get so mysterious? This isn’t me speaking
but the old gentle hiss of a slow glass
ship in a bottle on the sea.
A major influence on Ms. Hogan’s artistic life was a journey that she made when she was 17.
“I hitchhiked to Greece and took a box of paints with me and I found there a completely different quality of light,” she said. “Light has always excited me, it intrigues me. In England it’s constantly changing but in Greece it was incredibly bright and unchanging. But I found the best way to deal with this light was to observe its effects from inside looking out; to paint it as it came filtered through shutters or through the slats of canopies over the terraces of tavernas and cafes, where I tried to catch its strange, flickering, almost mesmerizing qualities.”
— from British Artist Explores Poetry of Light in Enclosed Spaces, New York Times.
I wrote two poems yesterday. I’m confused by both of them. They’re running circles around what I was actually trying to say.