Poetry and Painting


Hi Poetry Lovers,

It seems to be a right brain fact: many of us who write also paint or play an instrument, or engage in other creative activities, on all levels, amateur to professional. this includes actors, craftpersons, gardeners, playwrights, doodlers, etc. There are legions of human beings who express themselves creatively.

One outstanding poet/artist of the past was William Blake, an Englishman who lived from 1757 until 1827. Blake wrote and illustrated his poetry books; he also was a songwriter and engraver. Although under-appreciated in his own time, he is today held in high regard for his expressiveness, as well as the mystical undercurrents in his work. He was an early romantic, that is, his work preceded the romantic poetry movement (1798-1837) but very much influenced it.

Below is a link to an illustrated version of one his most famous poems. written early in the 18th century, it is still taught and read today.


And here is the poem:

The Tiger

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes!
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

— William Blake

I have been deeply influenced by Blake.

Now for a "plug"——

As are many others here, Pittsburgh has been a subject for painting as well as poems. I am very pleased that this month, July, 2017,  my work is on display at the Square Cafe, 1137 S. Braddock Ave, 15218. (open every day from 7 am til 3 pm, they serve great food).

Thanks for indulging this bit of self promotion! for your pleasure, here is something with a fond reference to our city by a wonderful poet from Pittsburgh:


There was a great tenderness to the sadness
when I would go there. She knew how much
I loved my wife and that we had no future.
We were like casualties helping each other
as we waited for the end. Now I wonder
if we understood how happy those Danish
afternoons were. Most of the time we did not talk.
Often I took care of the baby while she did
housework. Changing him and making him laugh.
I would say Pittsburgh softly each time before
throwing him up. Whisper Pittsburgh with
my mouth against the tiny ear and throw
him higher. Pittsburgh and happiness high up.
The only way to leave even the smallest trace.
So that all his life her son would feel gladness
unaccountably when anyone spoke of the ruined
city of steel in America. Each time almost
remembering something maybe important that got lost.

— JACK GILBERT  (1925-2012)

Thanks for clicking in! 
xo Judy

Read more: The Jewish Chronicle - entry POETRY AND PAINTING