Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Stopping dead

And then we talk - this is another group - about the extraneous and the necessary. How do we know what is extraneous?

A great many years ago when I was a Chagallian painter a little drunk on those gorgeous luminous colours, I wanted to fill my paintings with gorgeous luminous colours. Yes, but when I did so there was no real luminosity in the whole.

Luminosity is not the product of lot of luminous colour. It is one or two luminous colours concentrated in one major area and dispersed in smaller patches against a warm resonant matrix of neutral tone. The green in the green paintings was greener for not being surrounded by red and blue and amber and pink. It glowed against one or other form of darkness, and when it had another green to refer to, a similar green, not necessarily exactly the same green. It was as if the greens rhymed or sang in a chorus of some sort.

Ut pictura poesis in this respect too. The big eye-catching word or image or phrase will tell more when it lies at the core of the poem, attracting other lesser images of its type. Intensity tends to kill intensity. Each line freezes the mind at its own point in the narrative.

There has to be narrative of some sort. Even in a lyric poem. It's not a story, yet something is different by the end. Something has changed. The mind has to move. Anything that prevents its movement is extraneous. Anything that helps is necessary.

1 comment:

Alison Croggon said...

Hi George - having email problems again, to wit: bounceback. Sorry to do this here, but can you contact me at ajcroggon@gmail.com?