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 Good-Morrow


YEAR: 1958 SIZE: 22.5 X 20 SIGNED: LR W/IN IMAGE TITLED: LL W/IN IMAGE FULL SHEET ON RIVES BFK


The final stanza of "The Good-Morrow" seems closest to the image:


My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares,
And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest;
Where can we finde two better hemispheares
Without sharp North, without declining West?
Whatever dyes, was not mixt equally;
if our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike that none doe slacken,
none can die.



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