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 Funerall


YEAR: 1958 SIZE: 15 X 22 SIGNED: OPPOSING PAGE TITLED: COVER REPLACEMENT PAGE ON RIVES BFK


For this sepulchral image of a body in a winding sheet, Wayne deliberately chose a stone with a number of fossils within. To emphasize them, the stone was greased and then wiped before the drawing was commenced. She saw the challenge here as making an essentially horizontal idea hold as a vertical composition.


Whoever comes to shround me, do not harme,
Nor question much
That subtile wreathe of hair, which crowns my arme;
The mystery, the signe, you must not touch;
For'tis my ourward Soule,
Viceroy to that, which then to heaven being gone,
Will leave this to controule
And keep these limbes, her Provinces, 
from dissolution.



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