Versifying art

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[Ed note: Poet Tom Devaney‘s post refers to my PW review of the ICA‘s show “Springtide.” See post. Devaney is one of the poets commissioned to write a reponse to the art in “Springtide.” His poem was paired with the art of Troy Brauntuch.]
Post from Tom Devaney

Hello, thank you for your thoughtful article about the Springtide exhibit. I enjoyed it and your comments about my poem and Troy’s work very much. As it turns out, I didn’t choose, or know which image the ICA planned to use for the broadside. I looked at dozens of pieces by Troy, but really desired not to illustrate his work as much as create something of my own, exploring themes we both have in common: memory, lingering images, and loss, and love as you correctly point out. One of the things that struck me about Troy’s work is how he uses figurative images in
sometimes non-figurative ways, which is a characteristic of some artists (including him) associated with the “’70s Picture Show” in NYC. When I was writing my poem one of the ICA curators gave me Troy’s email, but I decided against writing him and to have my relationship be with his art. I like the image on the ICA website that goes with my poem more than the image used in the broadside. With thanks and best.

[Ed. note: I agree. I like that image too, pictured above, Troy Brauntuch‘s “Emily’s Coat on Black Table.” What’s on the broadsheet is an image of a full-length fur coat standing tall as if on a hangar. It’s a less evocative and edgy image than this one.]

–Tom Devaney is a poet and Penn Writing Fellow in the Critical Writing Program, University of Pennsylvania. See his homepage for more. Read his “Springtide” poem, “The Car, a Window, and World War II” here.

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