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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Poem and Painting Pairing - Gentileschi and Shockley



How transfixed I was by Artemisia Gentileschi so many years ago.  I wrote a series of poems about her in my first book, All the God-Sized Fruit.  I've always found women's self-portraits in particular to be so powerful, and this one in particular.

I adore this poem by Evie Shockley which begins:

canvas and mirror
 
self-portrait with cats, with purple, with stacks
      of half-read books adorning my desk, with coffee,

                  with mug, with yesterday's mug. self-portrait
            with guilt, with fear, with thick-banded silver ring,



and the rest is here.  I think she gets at the way we're so many things at once, how we change and grow and how the real is messy and beautiful at once.

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