Today’s stanza draws on a passage from Middlemarch in which Ladislaw, whose hair is ‘not immoderately long’, argues the superiority of poetry over painting. The first two lines are almost a direct quote.
November verse 10: Pictures and words
Language gives a fuller image,
all the better as it's vague.
Paintings flaunt their frozen plumage,
stare insistent from the frame
in finished, silent imperfection.
Neither love nor harsh rejection
crease a portrait's botox brow.
No worm forgives the painted plough.
Life as lived is full of noises
much diviner than what's seen
(or, on occasion, more obscene).
The air resounds with speaking voices:
one picture can delight your eyes,
a thousand words can make you wise.
How beautiful the comparisons – poetry/words and art/capturing the frozen moment – and then with life itself. After more than 30 years out of the saddle I took a bicycle ride this morning – around 20 km there-and-back from where I am housesitting (Weston Creek) to Lake Burley Griffin – along the Molonglo, past the gates of Yarralumla – to the rowing club of some school/s – and back. The first pleasant weather in some 10 days – no wind (except that created as I coasted along downhill) all yellow dandelions and new green leaves (the cold and inclement weather has held back the browning) – the perfume of northern hemisphere trees – darker pine forests across the river – and then by the Lake itself. Taking care to ring my bell or to move over as I went by folk walking dogs. Refreshing the scenery – but muscle-rousing – as I can feel now some three hours later! Thanks for your own efforts on this page to-day, JS.
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Ladislaw’s argument couldn’t ask for a better corroboration, Jim