Monday, January 18, 2010

Mona Lisa Poem

In the Guardian's Book Blog today: a review of a poem, published in 1892, about Mona Lisa:

Poem of the week: La Gioconda by Michael Field

In the article is a biographical sketch of the authors -- two women who wrote collaboratively under the name Michael Field. I find this interesting. The interpretation of the poem seems overwrought -- but most interpretations of poems seem that way to me. Here is their overview of the poem and the book it came from:
"La Gioconda" is from their second published collection Sight and Song (1892). All the poems are about pictures, the stated purpose of the authors being "to translate into verse what the lines and colours of certain chosen pictures sing in themselves; to express not so much what these pictures are to the poet, but rather what poetry they objectively incarnate". The use of "song" and "sing" is suggestive of a synaesthetic approach, and there are poems in the volume whose lineation seems to attempt rhythmic reflections of visual effects. "La Gioconda" is not one of these: like its subject, it is focused and formal. It might almost have been a sonnet.

See what I mean?

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