This Poem was Submitted By: Mark Andrew Hislop On Date: 2005-06-26 03:16:44 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Pablo’s daughter

It seems I have two views of her And all of it depends On who her father was. Was he The man whose fingers made her  From the words her beauty  Ripped from the throat of his pen? Or the man whose eyes made an image Rush like incense from a temple curtain Ripped to reveal her figure’s modesty? I can’t decide. The word-man would make her From the inside out, migrating in his soul— Devoted like a swan— To hers, as if he had known her before And somehow could show the world His only other. The image-man would make her From the outside in, a treacherous journey Walking blind in a darkened land Where she is everyone’s other Yet somehow only his, stolen and Forced to lie forever splayed upon his canvas. No, I can’t decide, so Perhaps she should be the one  To choose her fate,  To be Neruda’s ink or Picasso’s oil, Though both slip, ungripping Their daughter’s entire truth. I really can’t decide, and That’s best for my heart, It would go to pieces either way To see her mystery broken and trapped, Splintered in a list of artists’ qualities, When all I can ever care is that She remains entire, that she remains My one, my indecipherable, Open secret.

Copyright © June 2005 Mark Andrew Hislop

This Poem was Critiqued By: Elaine Marie Phalen On Date: 2005-07-07 06:24:19
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
This is stunning! Visual arts or the written word? Which truly inspires us most? The speaker is torn between his love for both and his desire for excellence and/or deep appreciation of eaither. The two Pablos - Picasso and Neruda - stand at the opposite poles, yet meld in the cneter to fabricate this Muse-daughter. I can’t decide. The word-man would make her From the inside out, migrating in his soul— Devoted like a swan— To hers, as if he had known her before And somehow could show the world His only other. The image-man would make her From the outside in, a treacherous journey Walking blind in a darkened land Where she is everyone’s other Yet somehow only his, stolen and Forced to lie forever splayed upon his canvas. Here are the two approaches - the writer begins with the brain and builds on it; the painter starts externally and adds depth as he proceeds. To the one,, the process is rather like reincarnation, and there's a subtle Leda allusion, as if to write about something is to commit it to paper by force. Yet this is not the message; the devotion of poet to his work is a marriage of mind and substance. Through it, we who write are driven to reveal ourselves in all our fragility, our 'only other". We are loyal to our inner daughter because she is a part of our own soul. To the painter, the tangible product on canvas is eventually lost to him, displayed (I love your choice of "splayed" - a rape image) for eyes which may not even understand it. It is both tribute and betrayal, this act of creating a fixed image. There are those unworthy to share in it (but they will do so, anyway). There are those who will seek to criticize or punish us for having dared to reveal ourselves so blatantly. There is small comfort in having given up our children in the service of the public taste. But we may havelittle to say about it; the Muse herself must determine what form she will take. And the reader-viewer-creator must accept her for what she is, the shape she chooses, or choose to guard his/her own response to the work. If the speaker is also the writer-artist, s/he has an option -- create or conceal. One celebrates with risks, the other protects with denial. I really can’t decide, and That’s best for my heart, It would go to pieces either way To see her mystery broken and trapped, Splintered in a list of artists’ qualities ... Yes, the choice is bitter and difficult. If we impose our own will on the act of creation, we imprison it. "Splintered in a list" is a remarkable metaphor. It argues against restricting the work to narrow confines that deaden any spark of originality; no, we cannot ask for this. We cannot break the daughter's spirit. That final oxymoron, the "open secret", stands as true artist's treasure - the gift we keep even as we offer it to the masses. I hope this piece, which is a brilliant poem, is applauded as it should be. I think it's my favourite of all your work that I've read thus far - you're on a roll! Bravo. Brenda

This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2005-07-01 10:07:38
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.88372
Mark: Once again, I find treasure in your words. Not all of them decipherable to me. As both fathers were named “Pablo” even the title intertwines these two with the daughter of whom you speak. There is a mixture each Pablo, the daughter and the poet throughout this piece, so that the synergy of these and of each reader’s perception makes a new experience. I love the way poetry can bend time, to make those once living, live again. The way art captures on canvas certain moments and perceptions. That you join these arts together for readers and braid your own perceptions into the work seems a timeless thing, as well, for the future readers, who become writers, like ripples in a pond, will influence others. This is truly a superb poem to accompany the body of your works to date and the literature of the site. Some poems are forgettable; this is not one of those. “Was he The man whose fingers made her ---highly sensual From the words her beauty --- wonderful enjambment Ripped from the throat of his pen?” “Or the man whose eyes made an image Rush like incense from a temple curtain ---WOW! Ripped to reveal her figure’s modesty?” I do not know for certain which of Neruda’s poems yours may refer. It would be helpful to have that reference. But then again, as readers, we do not really need to know. It is just me, wanting to synthesize the image and words. Was it Sonnet XXXIV (You are the daughter of the sea)? “And somehow could show the world His only other.” Simply exquisite The image-man would make her “From the outside in, a treacherous journey Walking blind in a darkened land “ ---my favorite lines in this poem “Where she is everyone’s other Yet somehow only his, stolen and Forced to lie forever splayed upon his canvas.” These lines are incredibly evocative. Was this “Farmer and Nude, Surrounded by Hens” ? I may be completely wrong here. It doesn’t matter. "Though both slip, ungripping Their daughter’s entire truth." Do we ever know the truth of another, you show here the complexity of every learning the “entire truth” of anyone. "To see her mystery broken and trapped, Splintered in a list of artists’ qualities, When all I can ever care is that She remains entire, that she remains My one, my indecipherable, Open secret." You have left her mystery intact. Not deciding, you leave the possibilities open for yourself and readers. This poem adds to the literature on fine art and poetry. It also opens my eyes to the often conflicting views of critics, historians and individuals. You show how we must integrate all art into the whole of our experience, as “that is best for my heart” and ours, as well. Let the mystery, the poem, the painting, be what it is, an “indecipherable” and “open secret.” Kudos! Superbly written in every way, Mark. My best always, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-06-27 06:59:48
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.77966
Poet.....this is well structured and your word flow allows for many images to be created along with feelings and is quite the study of the arts..........can she be the daughter of the poet or the artist or perhaps both........with your pen you created a special journey which you were able to bring the reader along with you allowing one to come to their own conclusion perhaps....Perhaps the two together could really create a masterpiece for the world to see, feel and come to love........I like it when songs are made from poetry so why not a picture that is perfectly completing the artists plan.......enough from me, I am lost in my own thoughts and I do thank you for sharing and posting with us.......would not change a thing it is fine as it is.....God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Lora Silvey On Date: 2005-06-26 23:19:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.45614
Mark, Quite an indepth study, the wording so discritive and well placed, your thoughts quite clear. You took me all the way with you, a journey of indecission and yet in the final moment leaving that which is just as it is........WOW, you have said so much in such an unique way. I must now rethink how I deal with some of my subjects in both my art and writing, never looked at the way you have portrayed an object but you have given me a new way to view, a more possibly responsible way. Thank you so much for this well structured glimpse into the heart and soul of those who create. Lora
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mandie J Overocker On Date: 2005-06-26 03:38:08
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.43590
What an intriguing piece we have here...I love your descriptive questions...the choice between painting and poetry...which is she? And who is she...perhaps she is both? is that possible. The flow and meter work well here as do the occasional rhymes. I assume this is free verse and would be interested to know some background on this poem. What prompted you to write it? what was your inspiration, aside from Neruda and Picasso? I love how this leaves me with questions it leads me to want to read more of your work. Thanks for sharing this with us and posting here.... Cheers. Mandie
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