JOHN DONNE


I used to play records when I was working. I happened onto this recording by Christopher Hassall, the English actor, of Donne on one side and Wordsworth on the other. As I listened, those poems literally began taking over my hand, and I began to draw those very romantic, although also somewhat macabre, wash drawings. I began making images to match the poems.


Hearing that marvelous voice, one would understand why I was moved to do the work. It was the music of it, the performance of it, and of course that marvelous combination of courtly and vernacular language. I didn't notice the religious connotations, because his sentiment was so physical.


I was vulnerable to these sonnets because of personal and family travails: my grandmother, mother, daughter and closest friend were all part of this grinding daily responsibility. So these moody drawings, which everybody loved so much, were triggered by anguish as well as love.


 


 




The Apparition


YEAR: 1958 SIZE: 15 X 22 SIGNED: OPPOSING PAGE TITLED: COVER UNSIGNED EXHIBITION PROOF ON RIVES BFK


Wayne's first two attempts to make this plate dissatified her. The image eventually used in the book was her third; small edition of the two planches refuees went to prepublication subscribers. In a letter sent to her Berlin printer on 32 December 1958, Wayne wrote: "I am redoing two of the prints more to my liking, so the volume will carry with it two rejected proofs for collectors."


When by thy scorne, O murdresse, I am dead.
And that thou thinkst thee free
From all solicitation of mee,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,
And thee, fain'd vestall, in worse armes shall see.



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