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loading animation Poetry in the Pause at the End of a Line
dividing graphic

Poetry in the Pause at the End of a Line

House paint on wood

35" W x 69" H

2020 - Available for purchase

Shortly before creating this piece, I read a poem by Octavio Paz called "Sunstone." At one point in the poem, I read to the end of one line and thought that the author was conveying one thing, but then when I read the next line, that line expanded and continued the thought on the previous line in a surprising way. I stopped reading for a while and contemplated this special aspect of poetry: how a significant part of poetry occurs in the mental pause at the end of the line.

I then found myself asking, "could I abstractly express this dynamic in a painting?" I decided that I would construct a painting stretcher in such a way that, after it is painted, I could cut it roughly in half with a table saw, then reassemble the painting so that the "flow" of the painting continued on a second "line." Further, I would introduce components at the end of the first "line" to draw attention to the space at end of that line, and again between the two lines to reinforce the separation of lines.

I realize that explanation is probably hard to follow. I'm just trying to capture that poetry occurs in the blank, wordless pause at the end of a line--not just in the words themselves. The nothingness that is there is as much a part of the poem as the line that is written.