The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Art attack

About twelve years ago, I was doing fieldwork on the banks of the river Irwell in a grubby area near Rossendale. In this unlikely place I came across a piece of public art, shown at the bottom of this page. It made my day and stuck in my mind for all these years. Only now have I worked up my draft into something: something admittedly raw, unstructured, unfinished – but at least visible.

For an altogether more compelling take on art, have a look at this – a favourite poem of mine by the splendid U A Fanthorpe.

Public Sculpture

Art means Monet’s water lilies,
Whistlejacket rearing in his sheen.
The Lark Ascending, Schubert’s Trout,
Romeo and Prufrock,
Michelangelo flat on his back.
It’s all of that: and then it’s

like a baby at the font.

An ordinary day, walking an ordinary dog.
In this, my place of weekday weeds
I expect no miracles before breakfast.
Then this; like wine
when I had only asked for Weetabix.

Art. I was prepared to tug my forelock
when it kissed the nape of my neck.
All it asked me to do
was ask.


One comment on “Art attack

  1. KW
    February 24, 2011

    I never was a fan of representational art, having always thought that if one wanted to see a tree or a cloud or a babbling brook, that one should look out the window or take a walk through the countryside – so this connects with me Jo .. nice .. KW

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This entry was posted on February 24, 2011 by in Writing exercises.
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