Monday, November 9, 2009

Gathering Image

The other day some students and I visited the art gallery on campus, viewed the paintings, and then found a perch and began writing--or writing toward--an eckphrastic poem, or a poem concerned with another art-form besides poetry. The title of the exhibit was "Gathering Image, Fugitive Form," and the paintings & drawings that were featured occupied a fascinating position between the abstract and the representational. There was a series of paintings focused on the image of tree limbs.

Liminal Limbs

How tree limbs form patterns
and each branch follows its
own precise, crooked line
of work: such shaping is
the fruit of species and
individual, accident and
cell-division, weather
and vegetative whim. Whatever
the outcome of bark, branch,
and twig back-grounded by
sky, a painter comes along
and lets the branches suggest
an outcome on canvas, a tale
in pigment about color
and line, a story the tall tree
is alleged to have told. So
we turn from the canvas and
look through a gallery's
window at branches, which
wind shakes and bends.

Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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