This Poem was Submitted By: Gene Dixon On Date: 2005-02-19 11:55:45 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Understanding Dali

I somehow thought that watches, melting over table edges, were fraudulent, more like limp cheese than artistic concept. Lobsters, masquerading as telephones, didn't penetrate my consciousness with any sort of startling sound. Then you showed me  a photograph of the artist and I realized... A man with housefly eyes and a pencil-thin mustache, waxed a full twelve inches on either side of his nose, sees lobsters and telephones in a different light than most.

Copyright © February 2005 Gene Dixon

This Poem was Critiqued By: Elaine Marie Phalen On Date: 2005-03-05 15:59:15
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Gene, the humor that underscores this is rather amiliar because I, too, have viewed Dali in similar frame. That mustache is its own statement. "By their fruits (or visible embellishments) ye shall know them," right? It does seem as if traits of dress and manner - one might almost say "affectations" - are also signals to an unusual inner perspective. I somehow thought that watches, melting over table edges, were fraudulent, more like limp cheese than artistic concept. The assonance that links "watches" with "fraudulent" is subtle. The time-as-limp-cheese has been, I think, a victim of overkill. Dali's melting clocks are cliches now. We've grown too used to them (and maybe to a lot of other weirdnesses, which seems a pity, because the element of surprise has largely been superseded by jaded expectation). I wonder what kind of a ring a lobster-phone would emanate? "Startling sound" might be an understatement. I imagine a sort of bubble-click. Live lobsters exude froths of little bubbles before they're eventually boiled. "Housefly eyes" is an awesome image! Not only are they huge in proportion to the head, but they're multifaceted and perceive dimensions we probnably can't comprehend. To see as Dali must have done would be an exercise in astonishment, I think. Your poem quite rightly tags his vision as the source of his unusual world-view. But then again, a housefly is also common as common. Like I said earlier, Dali is becoming almost a parody of his own style. I still enjoy it, though I think in some ways, I tend to prefer Hieronymus Bosch if one is looking to the surreal. (I'm not sure what he looks like, unfortunately). Your work is always enjoyable, regardless of style or subject. Brenda

This Poem was Critiqued By: Sandee L McMullan On Date: 2005-03-01 23:08:59
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.88235
Title: Understanding Dali A wondrous title alluding to art, I am want to take a read with interest. Opening line gives an abstract image, hitting the title with clues of abstract art. Also, an opinion expressed helps the reader to distinguish how the narrator “understands Dali”. This invites the reader to make opinion also. The lines describe the art, this helps the reader to “understand dali” hitting the title again. Unique images are presented to the mind screen of reader, getting a sense of Dali. This brings alive the poem. How interesting this is for the reader. I like. Descriptions “a man with housefly eyes …” does fulfill the picture and bears understanding of Dali from the personal side. One little grammar nit, if I may suggest: lower case “a” because of it following the ellipses (. . .) makes it a continuation of the sentence more easily understood. “I realized... [A] a man with housefly eyes” I like how the ending makes justice of the man and his art; it is a good summation. This is quite an astute reckoning of art within a poem. Well done imo. I enjoyed this. . . . regards
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-02-23 20:37:01
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.67647
Interesting poem my friend......I honestly can say I have never been to an art exhibit though I did venture once to a showing of some paintings done by a former class mate....nothing like you describe above though.....your words bring to life this artist with his pencil thin mustache, waxed a full twelve inches on either side of his nose....housefly eyes.......really would like to see what that looks like.... the opening stanza brings to life perhaps a painting from the srtist for the world to see and you have shared with us your findings. good word flow to bring such life to this man here on the link. Thanks for posting and sharing with us.....God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2005-02-21 10:51:30
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.85714
Gene--Welcome to TPL. This man (imo) along with other 'Surrealists' make us all question their take on reality, but moreover, did/would they care? I think your title and subse- quent brief read aptly indicates Senior Salvador Dali clearly "saw images that didn't reach others retina." And, historically most creative geniuses, especially artists, have worn mixed tags: madmen or savants. Thanks for this interesting dark humored effort. TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2005-02-20 16:20:19
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
I enjoyed your verse. Almost as if I was observing a Dali painting, I read and reread you verse many times. In the nature of it words like “fraudulent”, “artistic”, “masquerading”, “penetrate”, and “different light” stood out as pertinent modifiers. It would seem, (his physical description not withstanding), that there was throughout a written flair that he might have given credence to, and that is not something to be said lightly. What most strikes me, of comparison of your descriptiveness, and his “nebulous” affinity for the abstract, is that both make me sit and look, and look again. Your title “Understanding Dali” which is the only line I shall directly speak to, is the perfect modifier for your verse about his “light” and the “indecisiveness” maintained through out your poem. I have found myself getting lost in his paintings, (not necessarily the lobster/phone painting, thought the Lobster/woman painting has that affect), and almost as you point out, I am not sure of the mind that presides. Probably I see your verse in a little different attitude, but the subject has always made me dig a little deeper, to find that “different light” that you speak of. Thanks for sharing.
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2005-02-20 15:37:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.53846
Oh yeah that's for sure. I've seen those paintings up close and personal and for the life of' me I cannot remember where. It probably was in a travelling exhibition somewhere. I know I saw a lot of world class artists such as Van Gogh at the Montreal World Fair in '67. I go to art galleries all over. The last interesting one I saw was near Kansas City and I think it was called the Shuttle Cock Museum or something like that. Yes Dali did see things in a different light but his colours were true. So, now do you understand him even more? Thanks.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne Duval Morgan On Date: 2005-02-19 16:34:19
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Gene, Love it, what an interesting take on Dali. I too have studied his art, and wondered where these concepts were coming from, if nothing Dali is always a way in discussion. His person kind of matches his art, yet do we really understand how another's mind works, and the concepts that take shape, the difference being he painted this on canvas, and left lasting memories in the Id's of many, me included. Very abstract, wierd and unusual take on really every day items. A fact when I was in Hospital in 1998, and in ICU for many days, the round universal looking clock on my wall, seemed to run down, to drip uncontrollable, scary in a way, for as I tried to righten my ship this clock interefered with my straight and narrow, so in a way I can understand his painting the way he did, a new school of thought, a new projection, abstract art is difficult at the most to comprend. As far as the poem goes excellent, I'm left with measured projection, great verbiage, and factual proof as to how he presents, in the person and in his art. Amazing isn't it, like the Great Masters his unique approach is last, his images certainly are, and this poem caught it all beautifully. Gives me the shivers to see in my minds's eye that clock melting, and the lobster, but who's to say it wasn't a bizarre concept at work. Interesting both the poem and the art, Thanks much ....... Jo Mo
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2005-02-19 13:07:17
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Gene: How grand to see a poem by you at the top of my list and another below (which will be gone by the time I return). I've wanted you back at TPL for sooooooooooo long. a breath of fresh air, a teacher. Enough said. Ironic that with your return, your poem is Daliesque. I do not claim to understand him at a deep level. He lived and died within the parameters of my father's live. I take your piece as a tribute to Salvador, likely dubbed surrealist than any other "school" and the painting to which you allude, the "passing of time" I call it because I never remember its name. The most fascinating aspect of his body of work was he could move from a painting of dream-like imagery to one of almost photographic realism. I like this notion so much and he may have had a grandeur about him but look at the other Spanish artistes! I always envision Dali wearing a black wool cape and red satin lining. Your second stanza, the epiphany you deliver to us is filled with goodies such as "housefly eyes", mustache waxed a foot in length on either side of his nose...showing in a humorous way why Dali may have been hampered by his affectations. This is wise and well-penned and who writes as you do? Thank you for helping us comprehend this interesting painter. Best wishes always, Mell
This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2005-02-19 12:18:11
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.85714
Gene - Ah - another gem from the master jeweler - welcome home So -Dali himself is sort of "Dali-esque?" Marvelous A few suggestions to tighten up a poem already as tight as a watchspring - so duck I somehow thought that watches, melting over table edges, were fraudulent, more like limp cheese than [art]. Lobsters, masquerading as telephones, didn't penetrate my consciousness with any sort of startling [maybe "ring" to pick up [on] the telephone?] Then you showed me a photograph of the artist and I realized... A man with housefly eyes [apt analogy! ] and a pencil-thin mustache, waxed a full twelve inches on either side of his nose, [he was indeed odd looking] sees lobsters and telephones in a different light [-than most.] yes yes! love it peace. Rach -Do not ask for whom the bridge trolls.
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