So, without further ado, let’s get to today’s painting and poem, inspired by Christina Rossetti’s poem, De Profundis.
To read this poem, click here (or scroll down near the bottom of the page)
ONCE THE WATER WAS ONE
once the water was one
before land and ocean parted
before firestorm, flood, and tempest
before desert, valley, and mountain
before the crash of thunder
and the deadly vein of lightning
before the arcing moon
before the crystal hung
vault of midnight blue
before the blazing four-walled city
of slave-hewn stone
and her seven iron gates
and her savage armies
and her shields and ashen spears
and her swords unsheathed
for the slaughter
the water was one
and all that tumbled hence
is a mere illusion more fragile
than a porcelain egg
cup your hands like a chalice
and crack it open
taste the sun’s yoke
why shed tears and fill
a wishing well with yesterdays?
today is your birthright
would you squander such largesse?
by Christina Rossetti
Oh why is heaven built so far,
Oh why is earth set so remote?
I cannot reach the nearest star
That hangs afloat.
I would not care to reach the moon,
One round monotonous of change;
Yet even she repeats her tune
Beyond my range.
I never watch the scatter’d fire
Of stars, or sun’s far-trailing train,
But all my heart is one desire,
And all in vain:
For I am bound with fleshly bands,
Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope;
I strain my heart, I stretch my hands,
And catch at hope.
Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894. Born in London, England.
Link to Poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44994/de-profundis
Influence: Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Raphaelite_Brotherhood)
ABOUT THE POETRY PAINTING PROJECT
For the past couple of months I have been working on a huge new secret project with my painter, Addie Hirshten, of Studio Alchemy
We selected 30 poems (from the public domain) and each day for the next 30 days I will write a poem inspired by it, and Addie will paint a painting.
Expect an outpouring of creative energy! This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say. Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. I feel so inspired by the poetry we are working with AND seeing Addie’s process as well. Expect daily surprises with our posts. Expect passion. Expect love. Expect life.
Painting is founded on the heart controlled by the head.Paul Cézanne
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