A collaboration between a poet and an artist, Colorful Was Their Voice pays tribute to American poetry in word and color portraiture. It is the outcome of a dialogue in which ideas and thoughts continuously shift between the visual and the verbal. The dialogue continues in the book: the eye moves back and forth between a brush stroke and a line, an idiom and a contour of a body, between a figure of speech and the figure in color.
The poems and paintings relate to each other in diverse ways, rival each other and complete one another. They compete yet harmonize, hinting thus in myriad ways to the life and work of each poet, bringing to life a visual and textual portrait of twenty-five American masters such as Robert Frost, Allen Ginsberg, Ezra Pound, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Charles Olson, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman.
We thought we knew the faces of these twenty five great poets, smiling serenely from the dust jackets of their books, but in Neta Goren’s beautiful portraits we seem to look straight into each psyche, as if privy to the inexorable tensions and darkly radiant energies that gave rise to the poetry. Twenty five great poets, and twenty five brilliant readings by Shahar Bram, whose virtuoso lyric crystallizations take us straight into the vital core of each poet’s oeuvre. Their book is the best kind of homage that art can pay to art: a dialogue of deeply felt, genuine invention.
George Kalogeris, poet and translator, author of CAMUS: Carnets and Dialogos
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Portraits & Photographs | chapbook | 2011
After Andre Kertesz: [pigeon, man, brick wall and tree], 1977
Out of the pages flew the bird:
once a word, now flesh and beak
the bird rises, carrying the word.
Look at her wings beating, soon
high against open skies she would
look like a blot, a letter
in the enormous book of nature.
First there was the vision
then came the word
then the bird, like a breath
brought into the world
ascended, a winged emblem
of the cycle of forms,
which art captures
to remind you
you are a part of it too,
and standing there,
with the naked tree
and the bare brick wall
holding the book in your hands
you are more than yourself,
for the cycle of art
presents the cycle of life
with the wings of hope.
After The Terminal, 1892, by Alfred Stieglitz
His balanced step against the left hoof's forceful strike
puts everything to rest
yet restless they abide: the horses tremble,
his body slants, the vapors rise and spread--
so airy but so tangible these steams of exaltation--
the surface shades and shivers.
The terminal is floating in misty, flaky waves;
the destination fixed:
I lay my time aside and step inside:
to Harlem, please
Salamander, Magazine for Poetry, Fiction & Memoir
Vol. 16, No. 1
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