Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Live Art


Feedback suggests that readers of both poetry blogs have also enjoyed some of my gay-interest and other novels serialised on my fiction blog: http://rogertaberfiction.blogspot.com
Many thanks for your e-mails and comments. (I never post comments, but always read them.) 

Blasphemy and Sacrilege were originally meant to be part of a trilogy, ending with Redemption. However, illness and various other events have overtaken me and the latter remains unfinished. Hopefully, I will complete it one day. 


I was only about 12 years-old when my art teacher at school told the whole class, with various gestures to emphasis the point, that we should never, but never take art at face value. ‘Get inside the piece and take a good look around,’ he said, and went on (word for word as far as I can remember) ‘Give the inner eye a chance to explore before the head reaches any conclusions. And never quite trust those conclusions. Oh, bear them in mind by all means, but always remember that even the artist is not always sure where his or her creative experience is leading, what feelings it may invoke, quite what set the creative juices flowing in the first place and to what end, exactly. So how can we be sure? We can’t, which is why any work of art is worth returning to time and time again if only to find out what we may have missed.’

None of us had a clue what he meant at the time, of course, but as time passed, I consider those words more a real part of my education than anything learned for the sake of passing exams. Otherwise, I could never have written today’s poem…for James, artists everywhere (whatever the genre in which they work) and those of us to whom they give much pleasure and render us a shade less vulnerable for making us think for ourselves. 

The deeper relationship between any art form  and its audience is an intensely personal one, taking us on journeys of heart and mind towards an appreciation to which the chances are no   ‘outsider’ critic would give much if any credence; while any critical take is always worth considering, we should trust our instincts and never fear placing ourselves at odds with it.  (Having to play the critic myself and produce essays at university years ago almost killed off every natural instinct for the creative experience I ever had.)

Nor should we ever, of course, forget nature's achievements - wild and nurtured alike - to which the same principles apply with regard to our establishing a relationship. Artists will always borrow from nature and do their best to convey a multi-take on various aspects they seek to bring to our attention; consequently, our mind's eye is likely to take us us on an unexpected journey of discovery, not least about ourselves. 

Readers may be interested to know that I read this poem along with another (A Hymn to Nature) over the video below; if the link does not work, you can also access it on my You Tube channel at:



Life, a dream free to come and go
like a swallow on spring and autumn days;
harbinger of hope, bidding peace follow 
and nest among human hearts whose buds
of springtime are all but ready to burst
into leaf, begging nurture of human nature
no less anxious to fulfil its potential  
than Earth Mother hers, though its seasons
ever in dispute

Life, a dream embraced and let go
like a fairy tale cloud on light and darker days;
harbinger of love, bidding peace follow
and stay forever, feeding on the spirituality
of art’s deeper poetry all but ready
to come into its own, begging of the world
that it open its heart to Earth Mother 
and enter into an expression of spirituality  
by its own volition

Live art: a dream’s comings and goings
like a feisty moon at midnight on frosted glass,
harbinger of illusion, calling on sleepers
to make the most of an, oh, so brief sanctuary
before Apollo puts us on the spot
and demands we make a decision along lines
of whether or not we at least try
to fulfil our potential or take on the mantle
of anti-hero

Nature, forever rising above its fears;
humanity, never far from tears

Copyright R. N. Taber 2012

No comments :