Friday, September 23, 2011

Poem and Painting Pairing - Hirshfield and Picasso

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973)
Oil on canvas

by Jane Hirshfield

She is working now, in a room
not unlike this one,
the one where I write, or you read.
Her table is covered with paper.
The light of the lamp would be 
tempered with a shade, where the bulb's 
single harshness might dissolve,
but it is not, she has taken it off.
Her poems? I will never know them,
though they are the ones I most need.
Even the alphabet she writes in
I cannot decipher.  Her chair-
Let us imagine whether it is leather
or canvas, vinyl or wicker. Let her
have a chair, her shadeless lamp,
the table. Let one or two she loves
be in the next room. Let the door
be closed, the sleeping ones healthy.
Let her have her time, and silence,
enough paper to make mistakes and go on.

(from The Lives of the Heart by Jane Hirshfield)

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