A few weeks ago I decided to read poetry on Sunday mornings. I'm trying to get to the library each week to pick a poet or poets whose work I've never read before or maybe read a long time ago. A couple of weeks ago I came across Billy Collins. He wrote a couple of poems about artists. Here's an excerpt from one about Goya:
from Candle Hat
But once you see this hat there is no need to read
any biography of Goya or to memorize his dates.
To understand Goya you only have to imagine him
lighting the candles one by one, then placing
the hat on his head, ready for a night of work.
Imagine him surprising his wife with his new invention,
then laughing like a birthday cake when she saw the glow.
Imagine him flickering through the rooms of his house
with all the shadows flying across the walls.
Francisco Goya, self-portrait with candle hat
Here's an excerpt from a poem about John Constable:
from Student of Clouds
The emotion is to be found in the clouds,
not in the green solids of the sloping hills
or even in the gray signatures of rivers,
according to Constable, who was a student of clouds
and filled shelves of sketchbooks with their motion,
their lofty gesturing and sudden implication of weather.
John Constable, Weymouth Bay
Another poem by Mr. Collins, Walking Across the Atlantic,ends with the stanza:
But for now I try to imagine what
this must look like to the fish below,
the bottoms of my feet appearing, disappearing.
I don't want to interpret or evaluate these at this point. I just wanted to mention the poet who seems worth reading.