A Painter's Thoughts, and William Bailey

Authored by
22 April, 2022

I utterly love the repetition in this poem, the feel of the repetition, the weight of it and resonance of it.

Also, "I want my painting to be what it contains: it should speak, not me" reminds me of

A poem should not mean
But be.

from Ars Poetica, by Archibald MacLeish, one of my all-time favorite poems.

There's some background from Yau on the Poem-A-Day page:

“I wrote the poem in response to the paintings of William Bailey, an artist known for his austere still lifes and figure paintings. I had been commissioned to write an essay on his work for his exhibition at Yale University and was immersing myself in images of his work, reading statements he made and different interviews he gave, which got inside my head. I wanted to see if I could have the artist speak, rather than speaking about him.”
—John Yau

And now I get to discover an artist I didn't know before: William Bailey. I've only just started looking at his paintings online, but I love his work.