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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pierre Auguste Renoir

Self-Portrait, 1910
"There are some things in painting which cannot be explained, and that something is essential."

French Artist
1841 - 1919

On the Terrace, 1881

All art (painting, sculpture, literature, music, etc) has something that cannot be explained, identified or understood.  A work of art is greater than its creator.  A work of art is greater than the sum of its parts.  When you look at a painting what do you see?  What do you not see?  What is the soul of the painting?  When you read a story what do you feel?  What do you not feel?  What is the heart of the story?  When you listen to music what do you hear?  What do you not hear?  What is the spirit of the music?

When I write a poem, I don't always understand it and others may understand it even less.  The poem has a life of its own — a meaning of its own.  I will come upon it weeks, months and even years later and it has been transformed into something I do not know.  Some days I like it and some I don't, but it is beyond my control.  It laughs at me and demands that I leave it alone.  It never thanks me for bringing it into existence.  It accuses me of locking it in a closet.  It says I was a terrible parent.