Tuesday, May 24, 2011

hungry dream

click to embiggen
















They gather
round the table
and gawk, chairs
pulled in tight
as a parking lot

a lute player
with the face
of a Nubian god
stalks sweet
creamy pathos

as a soothsayer
woos scry-glass
deep-throat
predictions
with machisimo
and class

but over goblets
of aching wine
the poet
struts words
hard in my eyes

his black nymphs
rock summer
to heaven
in a hot cradle



Tess Kincaid
May, 2011


I posted Banquet Scene with a Lute Player, by Nicolas Tournier, 1625, last week and had several requests to use the artwork as a Magpie Tales prompt.  It is incredibly rich with imagery. Click HERE to read what other writers have garnered from the Tournier.

66 comments:

  1. I love the way you describe the scene! The last line is terrific!

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  2. Your poem is a wonderful celebration of this painting! I love the soothsayer but my heart was taken by th the aching wine.

    Lovely, Tess.

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  3. your words always captivate my inner most being, setting him free to dance in your creation....perfection

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  4. Captivating painting and poem. I love the words "stalks sweet creamy pathos"!

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  5. Nubia was in Africa, up the corner by Egypt. They revered the same gods we’ve come to associate with the Pharaohs, Amon, Anubis, Re etc, many of whom had the heads of animals or birds. And those who did have human faces wouldn’t have been pasty-white like the lute player in the painting. Nubians were depicted in Ancient Egyptian art as having darker skin than themselves.

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  6. Yes, Jim, I realize that, but taking some poetical liberties here, since I love the sensual sound of Nubian. I like my pieces to be able to stand alone without the photo. :)

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  7. That poem is even more delicious than the turkey + pesto sandwich.

    HmmHmmmHmmm.

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  8. Wonderful, Tess. I love the mellifluous sounds here.

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  9. Delish poetry, Tess. Your words are always tasty morsels.

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  10. This is a serious interpretation of a painting with lewd overtones, the poet's prerogative.

    Your words flow with ease.

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  11. My mind played a trick on me, read,"stalks sweet creamy potatoes", must have been looking at the spread!
    You are always so inventive and clever!

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  12. "Embiggen"? Love it; that word alone was worth the price of admission. :-)

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  13. gorgeous, intense, packed with sensuality, "sweet creamy pathos"- wonderful!

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  14. "...his black nymphs
    rock summer
    to heaven
    in a hot cradle" Sensational!

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  15. lovely as always

    just love that word soothsayer

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  16. Moving unafraid from the 15th
    century to poetic niches along
    the centuries, rife with pasty
    faced Nubian lute players,
    as big-eyed soothsayers
    induce hypagogic illussions
    with the isle of Scry, this
    piece simmers like dandelion
    wine as a group of friends
    in white hats and shirts
    lie down in a meadow, spread
    a blanket and quote Walt Whitman
    and Leonard Cohen.

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  17. That would be "hypnagogic"
    illusions, of course, one of my
    favorite states of consciousness.

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  18. Glenn, what is it about poets that makes us so hypnagogically inclined?

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  19. Your poem was hypnotic. It sucked me right in and made me feel I was back in the 17th century...AWESOME! This is going to be a challenge!

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  20. I can never just read your poem once - this really is another amazing piece. Poetical license perfectly acceptable.

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  21. 'a lute player... stalks sweet
    creamy pathos'. Oh yes!

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  22. ... this is edgy! And really good.

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  23. dang those last 2 stanzas are just gorgeous tess...

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  24. ooooh tess i'm about to try and write a piece with this prompt and your words are buzzing in my sleepy afternoon head conjuring up all sorts of associations and words. really really nice! steven

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  25. I love your take, Tess. We are of like minds, I think! xxx way past menopause here but blood still running warm...xxxJenne'

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  26. A feast of images! The last verse has a wonderful dramatic tension between the lascivious and the sacred!

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  27. lovely description of the painting.
    great poem

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  28. Willow,
    I'm thinking "In the Company of the Courtesan" here.
    rel

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  29. pick a masterpiece and write a poem? you did well!

    now do Munch.

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  30. Such passion you have. Truly lovely.

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  31. Hi! Willow...
    The words [Your words] are beautiful and most definitely, compliment the beautiful "Renaissance?" painting.
    [I did take a closer look...]
    Thank, for sharing!
    D.D. ;-)

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  32. Wonderful words for this painting, that needed a few words to find a little new life.

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  33. I'm with Berowne, the word 'embiggen' is quite staggering. It makes the more common word 'enlarge' seem rather prosaic.

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  34. That's an almost perfect description of the painting. I read it once, then enlarged and thoroughly examined the painting, then read it again and enjoyed it all over again.

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  35. I've probably said this before but you're bloody good aren't you? There's so much to enjoy in this poem.

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  36. I love the images here. For some reason, that last bit - rocking summer to heaven in a hot cradle - reminds me of how I felt sitting out on my dad's driveway trying to get work in the midst of a fever. I felt otherworldly & ready to just float right up to the sun.

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  37. I love this. It is so amazing how looking at the same piece of art or photo. Every one gets a one of a kind message that transpires into words of the image. This piece brought me to speak only for the girl. :) Have a wonderful week.
    E

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  38. Another scintillating soiree at Willow Manor! Wit, music evoking pathos, spiritual readings, sensuality. You host the most exquisite salon, Tess!

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  39. 'goblets of aching wine' Love it!

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  40. WARM - not work. I wasn't trying to be a hooker in my driveway. Ha!

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  41. Thanks for clarifying that point, Bug. I did wonder. Heehee.

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  42. Really lovely when I listened to it with your voice. (some words I was mispronouncing!) Thank you for continuing to not only educate, but challenge me as well!

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  43. Well done!
    I loved the "with machisimo
    and class"

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  44. A sensual piece, you have some way with words.

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  45. Such a plush, lavish gathering of the arts, sweet, black and blue. As these rhetoricians of ecstasy crowd in, so your words pack in tight, crowing and cawing in a cacauphony of "wordshards" -- great fabrication there, as was "nymphsrock." Just the way I imagined those 19-year-old welfare mothers were looking at me when I played bad loud rock n roll. - Brendan

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  46. Wow, love this, every perfect syllable!

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  47. Rich imagery once again!
    I'm wondering who it could have been suggested that you offer the picture as a prompt . . .

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  48. Tess, I thought this was a beautiful interpretation of the drawing. Lot's of possible stories...each with a different message...this was particularly soulful. I had to chuckle at myself, the second time through...I thought this might be a great start to a joke..."A lutist, a soothsayer and a poet walk into a bar....." But I can't think of a punchline...so never mind...:) Have a great Memorial day weekend. Vb

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  49. As always, love what you did with this, Tess.

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  50. what a lovely feast--can only imagine what desert might bring!!

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  51. "Rock summer to heaven..."

    Yes, I think they might. And 'scry glass' - perfect!

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  52. i feel like it was happening right before my eyes. really like it!

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  53. Evocative and so beautifully descriptive... you have captured the "life" in these images, Tess...

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  54. Simply wonderful, Tess. I enjoyed the thought of poets (and writers of all occasions) 'strutting their words'! And quite rightly!!

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  55. First, I love your word "embiggen"....

    What a marvelous poem and the final stanza rocks my soul!

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  56. Loved the images, wordplay and sounds.

    ..ohh clicked and embriggened too!

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  58. "chairs
    pulled in tight
    as a parking lot"
    I am in love with that!
    Great piece Tess.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)