The Poetry of Art
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
― Robert Frost.
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.
Wordsworth paints an eloquent word-picture, when he reflects on a time now passed. For Wordsworth, the loss of innocence and the advance of old age brings a deep sense of resignation of what will be. An Artist as well, is subject to the same fears and uncertainties as that of the Poet. He can however recapture through his art the wonder, the innocence and the joy he once experienced. And furthermore, others can experience this by considering a work of Art as an expression of the Artist’s innermost feelings. In the final stanza of his great poem, Wordsworth writes:
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
Wordsworth truly understands what it means to be human, in all its joys, in all its sorrows. He understands man’s intimate connection with nature. He also understands what every Artist sees almost intuitively - that there lies something beyond that which he sees in whatever he paints, in whatever he creates; something beautiful, something meaningful, something essential, something eternal, which defines his purpose, which gives meaning to his work, which breathes life anew, whenever it is viewed, by whomever it is viewed.
I invite you to consider a poem you love, and view it against one of your artworks. The Poets words are the brush-strokes of the Artist. We are all on a journey of discovery. We are all somehow in touch with the eternal. We are all somehow in touch with the Divine.