Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chiaroscuro: a poem


The point of it all may be
just this — in the end:

Shadows fold
like memories and
stretch like dreams;
Full of emptiness like
the hollows that once
housed eyes;
Roaring with silence
like a symphony of bells
without clappers;
Carrying the incense
of our seasons in
their smoky, colorless
Freed of woe and suffering —
Freed even of joy; and
Needing nothing forever
except light.

                 MLydiaM ~ November 2011

St. Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, Francisco de Zurbarán, ca.1630/34

This is my nearly-too-late piece for Poetics at dVerse, where this week we are asked in a brilliantly-written prompt by Victoria to Play with Color.

I adore chiaroscuro, so selected the following from her commentary as my inspiration for the approach I took in composing my poem this week: Renaissance painters employed chiaroscuro, significant contrasts of light and dark, to add intensity and passion to their work.

Note: Discussion of the painting here.



Kathe W. said...

gorgeous words for a gorgeous image.

Scarlet said...

shadows folding and full of emptiness...seasons in their smokey, colorless modesty....great vivid images ~

somewhereamelody said...

This poem is moving and beautiful!

Claudia said...

an intriguing painting and intriguing it three times now and it keeps unfolding...the play of shadow and have it in your words as well...needing nothing forever except light...what a great closure

Snowbrush said...

Yes, that interplay of shadow and light has long attracted me to Renaissance painters.

Is your photo at the top from the Alvord Desert, perhaps?

Brian Miller said... the comparison to the hollow of the eyes...i wonder would i be able to live such a modest simple life of devotion...well written

Anonymous said...

I love this! I know I always say that, but I don't know what else to say. It speaks to me :)

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous write!

mythopolis said...

The light at the end of the tunnel was just a cop pulling me over. I didn't know I was naked at the time. But, I did have my seat belt on, so he let me off easy.

Rosaria Williams said...

A technique that gave the artists more power in manipulating moods than any paint stroke ever did. So, you took off with shadows and ended with light. Brilliant manipulation of concept and imagery!

Owen said...

Bells without clappers, what a beautiful image... ah, "Any day now, any day, I shall be released"

Another beautiful poem Lydia, you are simply blazing in light.

(PS I tried to add the "share" gadget', by checking the check box on the settings page, and saving, but for some reason it isn't showing in the blog post... will have to try to figure out why... it looked like it was going to be easy, but looks can be misleading I guess)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful imagery! I love the line "Carrying the incense of our seasons..."

Olga said...

Such a difficult subject for a poet...or maybe it seems that way to me, because I'm not a poet. You have completed this challenge beautifully.

Lydia said...

Kathe W~ I agree the image is so gorgeous and appreciate your comment about the poem. :)

Heaven~ Thank you for letting me know what lines you liked best. :)

somewhereamelody~ Thank you for your visit and comments here.

Claudia~ I'm honored by your comments, truly. Thank you for visiting.

Snowbrush~ I know, that play of shadows and light has always attracted me also. It is so quietly grand.
Yes, that is me in the photo at the Alvord Desert. I have a note at the top right of my page, in tiny gray print and I'm glad it does not bring attention to itself!

Lydia said...

Brian~ Thank you kindly for your kind and thoughtful comments. Not at all sure I could live that modest life of devotion, but it seems possible that it is something some of us might experience at the end. Who knows?

Amber Lee~ I love hearing (reading) it and thank you so much. :)

insanebloom~ Thank you very much. :)

mythopolis~ You are a curious and hilarious friend here in the blogging world. Thank you for being a light in my life!

rosaria~ Thankyouthankyou! You have a way of writing comments that make me so happy. If you had been a teacher, with those kinds of feedback to students, you would have been a great one.

Owen~ "..blazing in light" - wow, Owen, that is one of the coolest things anyone has said about me for a long time. Thank you so much. :)
I am sorry the gadget is not working. There might be something going on with Blogger, because I've had two comments (on the previous post) that they had trouble leaving comments...something about "memcache." In the meantime, I can always put the link in a Facebook status on my wall. That's what I'll do. :)

jacquezyon~ Your name is so exotic...lovely! Thank you so much for your feedback and visit.

Olga~ Many thanks to you, who may or may not be a poet but certainly is an artist and marvelous art teacher, too!

KB~ Thank you! Nice to see you again. :)

Maxwell Mead Williams Robinson Barry said...

Shadows fold
like memories and
stretch like dreams;

love your wordplay, poetic and elegant entry.

Beachanny said...

I liked this poem enormously. It is the essence of what poetry should do, I think. Stripping everything to bare essentials; letting each thing stand within its own paradoxes, the light and the shadow together as yin and yang. The optimism and pessimism of life fill the cup, send the messenger, extend space and time, shape form. Well done. Thank you for the introduction to the art work. I read about it as well. I have never seen this image. It sounds fantastic.

mythopolis said...

I loved what you wrote, of course. I don't always comment directly, but just free-associate off the post. It was a ridiculous reply, but, just something that popped in my head. I am just a ping pong ball on the big blog table of life... : )

Victoria said...

I'm at a loss for words on how to tell you how much I enjoy this. Like you, I love chiaroscuro, and St. Francis, and just everything about this breath-taking poem. Thanks so much, Lydia.

Lydia said...

Morning~ That you would call mine a "poetic and elegant entry" just warms my heart. Thank you.

Beachanny~ Wow, your comments are a most wonderful art critique/instruction in themselves! I am impressed and honored by these correlations to my poem. And so pleased you shared your thoughts.
The painting was new to me also. While looking at chiaroscuro images online it was there, and I was instantly captivated. I hope we each have a chance to see it in a gallery sometime in our lives!

mythopolis~ But I thought it was so you! Witty, mysterious, etc. Am liking this "big blog table of life" you conjured. :)

Victoria~ Your comments actually brought a tear. I so appreciate your kindred spirit leaving these words that filled me with a great peace. Thank you.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Shadows fold, like memories and
stretch like dreams; A stunning text!

Lydia said...

Phivos~ So lovely to have a visit and comment from you. Thank you.

secretfragileskies said...

Poetic, elegant, and brave to share your gorgeous work. Keep writing.

Lydia said...

secretfragileskies~ Aw, thank you so very much. I will.

twinkly sparkles said...

This is lovely, Lydia. I have come back to read it a few times already. Thank you.

Lydia said...

twinkly sparkles~ It is so kind of you to tell me that. I rarely return to read my prior posts, but I too have come back to this one a few times. It came from a different place in me...



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