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.


 


 




A Valediction: Of Weeping


YEAR: 1958 SIZE: 15 X 22 SIGNED: LR W/IN IMAGE TITLED: LL W/IN IMAGE AP - PAGE FORMAT


Wayne's interpretation of the verse shows a woman cradling a man's head, surrounded by disembodied tears. The delicate white line suggesting the female figure's cloak was produced by using sanguine pencil as a stop-out. Drops of tusche and water applied to the stone produced the tears:


O! more han Moone,
Draw not up seas to drowne me in thy spheare;
Weepe me not dead, in thine armes, but forbeare
To teach the sea, what it may doe to soone:
Let not the winde
Example finde
To doe me more harme than it purposeth:
Since thou and I sign one another's breath,
Who e'r signs most is cruellest, and hastes
the other's death.



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