Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Poetics 2

My poem was inspired by a favorite painting, in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, “At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance” by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. At the museum, I walked around looking for some of my favorite pieces and explored some new exhibits, searching for something to catch my attention. I have always found this painting very inviting and fun. The movement and the lady with the red stockings catch the eye and capture a world of dance and entertainment. I began by reading the note along side the painting, about the author and subject. The subject of the painting is said to be Valentin le Désossé, a well-known cabaret performer, nick-named the “Boneless Man”. I also discovered that the painting was actually hung over the bar at the Moulin Rouge for years. The painting then seemed to me to serve as a window, as most paintings do, into a different time. I was intrigued by this and began to examine the painting closer, noticing the flow of the characters and colors. From here, I began to jot down what I saw and imagine how that night may have felt to someone entering the Moulin Rouge night club with bits and piece of French culture hanging in the air. I did not want to just describe the painting, but rather comment on it in a way that would give it personality, or different dimension, without bringing the poem to a place that was too fictional. The writing of a poem in response to a painting should complement that painting and give it voice by putting colors and the emotions which they evoke into words.

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