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 Extasie


YEAR: 1958 SIZE: 30 X 22 SIGNED: OPPOSING PAGE TITLED: COVER E'preuve en cas de malhaus NACRE'


This color print, which extends across a double page of the book, derives from "The Extasie." Wayne wrote the first line from the eighteenth stanza across the image in pencil when she signed it:


To'our bodies turne wee then, that
Weake men on love reveal'd may looke;
Loves mysteries in soules doe grow,
But yet the body in his booke.



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