Review: Sculpting the Heart’s Poetry
Now in the winter of my years, snug under my covers warm and tight, my inner poet whispers in my ears at night, to not be afraid to bare my bosom to the moon and up gather my pollen like a sleeping flower, when my days are no longer that of harmony, beauty and/or dramatic expression, Triton will blow his horn and I will join my mom in deep repose both of us eternally loved.
by Joyce White
Poetry as a conversation between two artworks makes for insightful reading
This collection of poetry is filled with poems that reveal Joyce White’s secret, innermost feelings. She finds that writing poetry is an outstanding way of focusing on the visual art of the masters. White states that “[e]kphrastic poetry.makes an excellent conversation between two pieces of art.” In her foreword to the collection, White thanks Picasso, Chagall, and all the other artists whose work she tries to match with her own paintings and poetry.
Referring to the writing of poetry as a means by which to confront past circumstances as a form of poem therapy, White makes the reader aware of the close connection that there is between different art forms. What is ‘ekphrastic’ poetry? Not a term with which I was familiar at first glance, I must admit, but, according to Word4Word poets, meaning “a poet’s response to the direct stimuli of a piece of art combined with the poet’s own experience at the moment.
The Ekphrastic poem can be a description of the artwork, a story that came into the poet’s mind while looking at the artwork, or a poem describing the scene or experience in which the artwork is placed, or a combination of all of the above.” Much as I feel about my book reviews, White writes “[t]here is no such thing as writer’s block when we use others’ ideas to inspire us.” Her poems in this book have been composed in response to a number of different artworks, which are reproduced in full pages of black and white in this volume.
Such artworks include Renoir’s By the Seashore, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles, Rafael’s Angels, Picasso’s Girl in Mirror, and Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. She also includes the photograph of a collage which she has created from the work of Chagall. The ability to respond to nature is of key importance to the creation of all forms of art, White finds. White highlights the needs of poets, which she links closely to journaling, in that both forms of expression allow one to capture fleeting thoughts and emotions.
Her approach is summed up in her poem ‘Our Inner Poet’: “When art comes to consciousness, whether it be Haiku, epic or free verse if it looks and sounds like a poem, it is.” White’s poems, which are all in free verse, should appeal to all those who are responsive to both the visual and written forms of artistic expression. Inspirational and accessible, her poems should uplift your spirit and might even encourage you to start on your own personal exploration of the creative potential within you.
Pro Reviewing for BookPleasures.com
First Posting September 10, 2010