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.


 


 




Twicknam Garden


YEAR: 1958 SIZE: 22.5 X 20 SIGNED: LR W/IN IMAGE TITLED: LL W/IN IMAGE PROOF - FULL SHEET


Between 1607 and 1618, Donne's patron, Lucy, Countess of Bedford lived to the southwest of london in the suburb now known as Twicknam. The poem's message of unrequited ove is believed to have been addressed to her....



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