Poetry Thursday: Joseph Cornell

Hooray for Poetry Thursday. This week's task was to write a poem in reflection of an artwork. This made me go back through some old pieces, and I was tempted to draw out a poem inspired by Edward Hopper, but then I came across this lyric that played off of Joseph Cornell.

Can't reproduce the Joseph Cornell shadowboxes that my poem touches upon (of the title box, The Pink Palace, but also of other boxes), but if you know his work, it's not difficult to see how his boxes operate as poems: disassociative images caught in an odd little space.

The Pink Palace

Here is an art
good enough to carry:
a Joseph Cornell
box. Take a photostat
of a Newport mansion,
wash it pink, cut
news-clips of a woman's
face, litter her face
as pieces of snow on
the mansion's grounds,
arrange some sticks
for trees, a background
mirror to flush
the depth and to catch
the looker looking.
And forget to name
the artwork, load
the elements in a blue
black box, a container
of surreal, stupid air,
confetti light, hardware,
and a woman's face
forming a drift. I wish
I had that pink
palace, that box
large enough
to house its want.


Mary said…
Oh, your poem is good. I love the last part about want. "stupid air" and "confetti light" are scrumptious details.
What I like about the poem is that you constructed the art piece one element at at time - even if I had never seen the piece I could visualize it - but you captured more than it's construction - you got the feel of it.
wendy said…
Oh, master of the uber cool...I bow to you..

Litter her face
as pieces of snow..

yep. and also...
to catch the looker looking.

This is the heart. beating. at the center!

Rock on James...rock on! (swoon)
Beaman said…
Edward Hopper would have been a marvellous choice. His work is impressive. Having said that, this image had a lot of character. Your poem suited it well.
Catherine said…
I'm not familiar with the Joseph Cornell boxes, but I didn't feel that detracted from the poem> I've just been catching up on the previous poem,too, which I loved, and the arts award - very nice and I'm sure well deserved.
Jessica said…
Very cool poem. There are so many things to love about this, but for me the poem really comes together after the stupid surreal air line.
I enjoyed this, will have to check out the shadowboxes now...
A fun poem! Congrats on your award, too. Sounds like a great time was had by all!
January said…
I agree with Kimberly, and by deconstructing the Cornell box, you constructed a new piece of art through your poem.

Brilliant! Now that's sneaky.
Dave said…
As with many of my favorite poems, the last few lines are a killer. (It helps that Cornell is one of my favorite modern artists.) Good work. Thanks for putting your stuff out here.