I have been slowly working my way through Marina Tsvetaeva’s ‘Art in the Light of Conscience – Eight Essays on Poetry’ and read yesterday about Zhukovsky’s translation of Goethe’s Erlking. There is a child, on a horse, held in his father’s arms… All new to me. I borrowed the image and added that bit about ‘the only city’ and related the child’s emotions to String Theory. To not do justice to Tsvetaeva’s essay titled Two Forest Kings I’ll just call it mesmerizing.
I introduced the poetry project to the high school class. A boy, who seemed to be the class leader, didn’t see the point of it. I told him to knock on his desk. I said, “What did you touch?” He said, “Wood.” I said, “According to physicists at the University of Moscow exploring String Theory you just touched an elementary particle existing in 11 dimensions. Physicists at the University of Moscow exploring String Theory are now aware that elementary particles communicate with each other. Great poetry has come from Russian poets aware of scientific discoveries made at the University of Moscow.” He said, “Okay, I write.”
From Meme-Noir, my 2019 book of autobiographical vignettes. I bluffed my way through a possible rebellion. I remember the students reading aloud what they wrote. It was all very real. They followed his lead and he made it work. Somewhere he must be close to 30.
In my computer floating freely I found a digital file of (shall we say) cartoonish ‘Druid-monk’ images. He’s working beneath a light bulb (of course) and creating an icon of spirals. One is a cauldron-spiral. Perhaps I was thinking of manuscript illumination.
Then I found an ink drawing/collage from my (rather dark) 2011 exhibition at Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts in Toronto.
After combining them in Photoshop I was going to call the series ‘Temptation at the Manuscript Factory’ – humour inspired by a miniature I’d created many moons ago for an art gallery and gallery owner (both gone) who annually held an International Exhibition of Miniature Art. Instead I worked with a line from my unpublished poem Celtlandia Has Fallen.
Celtlandia Has Fallen is a sort of a quest poem, inspired by ancestral yearnings. There is something in the DNA stirring. In the Continuous Vegetal Style I served her. I don’t remember this, but in the poem ‘I’ do.