Thursday, July 16, 2009

i have a world apart

i came across a selection of beautiful poetry by the chinese poet li po. li po loved drinking and was an incredibly imaginative writer. when i think of all the great writers i have read (and whose work i love and admire) i find that drinking and imagination often balance each other out as much as they inform and support each other - for better or for worse. li po is believed to have written (a thousand or more poems) about thirteen hundred years ago.

at the risk of alienating purists, i've taken phrases that resonated with me and placed them side-by-side with contemporary art that i feel opens out the text and then also gets opened out by the text. (the images enlarge when clicked on).

"i have a world apart that is not among men."

"all the birds have flown up and gone;
a lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
we never tire of looking at each other -"

"the birds have vanished down the sky.
now the last cloud drains away.
we sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains."

"that shadow there is his lonely sail.
now there's nothing left of it.
all the blue is empty now.
all you can see is that long, long river.
it flows to the edge of the sky."

"oh, go and ask this river running to the east
if it can travel farther than a friend's love!"

all words li po


Delwyn said...

Hi Steven
these are interesting combinations you have made.

The robert hawkins painting is so like our Whareama bach on the coast of New Zealand it gave me a jolt Take a look at my feb 4 post.

I love the poetry today thanks Steven.

happy days

steven said...

hi delwyn, it really does have a lot of the same look and feel as the "bach" you show in that posting. that place looks fantastic. you'd want to write and paint and read there i bet!!!!! have a peaceful day. steven

The Weaver of Grass said...

What a lovely idea Steven - I love the words and I love every single picture too.

Elizabeth said...

Apt and thought provoking choice of both images and poems.
I see you are reading White Tiger.
I was most impressed with this rather sad book having read it shortly after out return from a visit to Rajasthan.

Saw in your profile you like TEL and K. Mansfield.
I think TEL a wonderful letter writer.

steven said...

hi elizabeth, thanks for visiting and for your kind comments. i too found white tiger a sad book. it had some really challenging scenarios and its depiction of the simplified stratification of society that draws the line so sharply between the haves and the have nots was really difficult.
yes i really like lawrence's writing although i haven't read the collection of his letters. it's funny that he regarded letter writing as "a bad habit". i also like katherine mansfield's writing for her attempt to depict the search for authentic self. have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hi weaver, thankyou. i have some more of these planned but with pictures that are more of the period of the poetry. have a peaceful day. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

These are beautiful and evocative. Wow.

Do you know Lori Witzel of the blog Chatoyance? She pairs her photos with snips of poetry; similar to this but of course different, too. She lives in Texas and has a much different sensibility.

Not sure about drinking and writing supporting each other, though plenty of writers drink. Lots of drinkers never write a thing, though ... which makes me wonder.

Have a wonderful day.

steven said...

hi reya, i don't know lori but of course i'll slip over there and see what i see. my comment about drinking and writing was driven by experience with a number of writers for whom that was the case. but then i don't know the depth of their personal price. there's a piece about balance and aareness of how what you take in affects what you put out in there. have a peaceful day. steven