One Picture is Not Worth a Thousand Words
“Nothing is true, but that which is simple.”
― Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
German poet, novelist and dramatist.
Well, never in the case of two of the greatest Poet-Storytellers of all time - Rudyard Kipling, and A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson. Both were born within a year of each other, and passed away in their early 70's- Banjo was born near Orange, New South Wales, and Kipling was born in Bombay, India. Kipling won many accolades during his lifetime, including the Nobel prize for Literature. His outspoken political views made him a somewhat controversial character, but there was no denying his towering literary genius. Banjo Paterson, likewise, received considerable recognition during his lifetime for the unique way in which he captured the quintessential Australian character. Banjo was recently voted number 1, of the top 50 Australians of all time - Not a Politician, not a Pioneer, not a Scientist, not a great Religious Leader, but a Poet ! And, not just any Poet, - a Poet who captured your imagination with economy of verse, just as Kipling did, painting word pictures which fired your imagination in a few lines of poetry - If you have not yet experienced the poetry of Paterson's and Kipling's absolutely 'thrilling' sense of place, the 'sitz im leben' of the story unfolding in front of you, the word pictures flowing almost breathtakingly fast as you read, the wonderment of what you are experiencing , then you are the poorer for not. And when you as an Artist give expression to your painting, in a manner similar to the word pictures which both Kipling and Paterson created with just a few words of verse, the appeal to simplicity is overwhelming. More, much more can be said, or painted with less. After all, we meet life simply as we find it, in a moment, in a word, in an experience, and in a reflection. Our memories are testament to what our minds reflect. - the essential, not the trivial- the meaningful, not the incidental.
I can't help but offer some verse from both Kipling and Paterson to illustrate my point:
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea, There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say: "Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay, Where the old Flotilla lay: Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay, Where the flyin'-fishes play, An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay.
In my wild erratic fancy, visions came to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving 'down the Cooper' where the western drovers go
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover's life has pleasures that the townfolk never know.
And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and river on it's bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.