Saturday, August 1, 2009

Auguries of Innocence

At the Bacon show, there’s a painting of William Blake's life-mask that's worth studying. Photography killed off the making of masks from the living and the recently dead, which is a pity, because even though masked faces are strained -- eyes shut tight, lips pressed together (around a straw so that the model could breath as the plaster was applied over the face) -- there is a presence there absent from the flatness of the image. In the Saint-Gaudens exhibit, there's a bronze life cast of Lincoln's head and both his hands that are uncanny.
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

The rest of the poem here.
Auguries, from those who read the flights of birds.

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