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.


 


 




Breake of Day


YEAR: 1958 SIZE: 15 X 22 SIGNED: LL W/IN IMAGE TITLED: NONE CANCELLATION PROOF ON RIVES BFK


Wayne used a rag soaked in benzene to create the light image out of a dark tusche ground. Her strategy evoked the poet's opposition of light and dark:


"tis true, 'tis day: what though is be?
O wilt thou therefore rise from me?
Why shoukld we rise, because 'tis light'?
Did we lie downe, because 'twas night?
Love which is pright of darnesse brought us hether,
Should in despight of light keep us together.



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