The Scream

June 29, 2006 at 5:56 pm 1 comment

Donald Hall


Observe. Ridged, raised, tactile, the horror
of the skinned head is there. It is skinned
which had a covering-up before,
and now is nude, and is determined

by what it perceives. The blood not Christ’s,
blood of death without resurrection,
winds flatly in the air. Habit foists
conventional surrender to one

response in vision, but it fails here,
where the painstaking viewer is freed
into the under-skin of his fear.
Existence is laid bare, and married

to a movement of caught perception
where the unknown will become the known
as one piece of the rolling mountain
becomes another beneath the stone

which shifts now toward the happy valley
which is not prepared, as it could not
be, for the achieved catastrophe
which produces no moral upshot,

no curtain, epilogue, nor applause,
no Dame to return purged to the Manse
(the Manse is wrecked) – not even the pause,
the repose of art that has distance.

(Donald Hall is the new Poet Laureate)

We’ve all seen the painting. The bridge, the skull like head, the swirling water, the traumatised sky – everything that goes into the making of a nightmare. And amidst it all, the pure intensity of the cry emanating from the canvas. Edvard Munch’s The Scream is one of the most iconic paintings of our time, and here Hall does a splendid job of exploring it, beginning with basic observation and slowly pushing your face deeper and deeper into the canvas until you are staring eyeball to eyeball at the vertiginous power of Munch’s vision. Hall allows you no repose here, and very little distance, and the poem is truer to the painting for it.



Entry filed under: Art and Painting, Donald Hall, English, Falstaff.

Tiepolo’s Hound (extract) I am Goya

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. KeveFrienry  |  October 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Биометрический контроль доступа позволяет повысить уровень защиты. Благодаря высокому уровню безопасности пропускной системы обеспеченному за счет технологии считывания отпечатков пальцев исключающей возможность доступа, путем подмены или кражи карты доступа либо ключей/паролей.
    Посмотреть и заказать можно здесь 8 заповедь скуд


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