MOVEMENT AND STILLNESS
This week I listened to Radio National’s program “Artworks” with its feature on Giorgio Morandi.1 This 25 minute discussion about a painter had, by implication, much to say about the writing of poetry that I compose this prose-poem in honour of a man who has, in just those 25 minutes, enriched my understanding of the prose-poetic process at an intimate and, in some ways, quite profound level. -Ron Price with thanks to 1Radio National, “Artworks,” 8:35-9:00 p.m. 29 December 2008.
Giorgio Morandi(1890-1964) gave to the painting process a sacredness and a form of self-portraiture, a dignity and a precision, a fluidity and a profundity, a stillness and a movement, a simplicity born of years of contemplation and a patience, a meaning and a method that was, for me as I listened to his story unfold, unique and compelling. His themes and styles were worked out, for the most part, by the time he was thirty. I had taken twice that length of time in my own artistic unfoldment. Morandi had worked out, had defined, his commitment to exploring a deliberately limited artistic territory by the time the Formative Age of the Baha’i Faith began in 1921. In my own nearly obsessive investigation of an intellectual territory, in its repetitiveness, in its subtle and not-so-subtle variation, in the conscious narrowing of the field of my inquiry, in the rigorousness of the self-imposed restrictions I placed on its content, I had worked out eighty years later, that is, by 2001.
Morandi selected his subjects as much for tone and texture as for form; I selected my prose-poetic subjects, my objects of aesthetic and intellectual experience as much for a type of engaging juxtaposition and a certain hybridity of content that could be offered to a multicultural public. –Ron Price with thanks to Ludwig Tuman, “Toward Critical Foundations for a World Culture of the Arts,” World Order, Summer 1975, pp.8-35.
In this world of jerky innovation,
narcissistic blurting and a trashy
irrelevance, I would like to think,
although one can never be sure, that
there is in this work, this aspiring
creative process, a lucidity, a calm,
a deliberation, a probity, a certain
ambition to set in context, a context,
for the greatest and most awesome
scene in the history of humankind,
a prose-poetic statement, account of
the immensity and wonder, of the
subtle and not-so-subtle and yet
graphic appearances and masks
which are leading this obscure
offshoot of the Shaykhi school
of the Athna-Ashariyyah sect of
Shi’ah Islam to become by quite
sensible and insensible degrees
the religion for humankind...!!
31 December 2008