Visited by words

Visited by words
cursive unrestrained
a tremulous quality

a struggling brush
in and out of favour
empty before reinking

imaginary characters break free
interact with rhythm
a destructive fragmentation

dramatic periods of restrictions
run dry before reinking
heart print of the writer

The prompt today at napowrimo.net challenged us to: “write a poem based on the title of one of the chapters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words.” I chose the chapter ‘Being visited by words’, as I’m sure more of you will have done. We know the feeling, after all 🙂

I wrote the poem using words from the description of this art work on The Met, and from phrases taken from the audio fragment. I recommend you listen to it, as it’s rather poetic in its wording and content. Very fitting for poet, calligrapher, and Chan (Zen) Buddhist adept, Huang Tingjian “who believed that calligraphy should be spontaneous and self-expressive—“a picture of the mind.”
Object Details
北宋 黃庭堅 草書廉頗藺相如傳 卷

Title: Biographies of Lian Po and Lin Xiangru
Calligrapher: Huang Tingjian (Chinese, 1045–1105)

Period: Northern Song dynasty (960–1127)
Date: ca. 1095
Culture: China
Medium: Handscroll; ink on paper
Dimensions: Image: 13 1/4 in. × 60 ft. 4 1/2 in. (33.7 × 1840.2 cm)
Overall with mounting: 13 1/2 in. × 71 ft. 5 5/8 in. (34.3 × 2178.4 cm)
Classification: Calligraphy
Credit Line: Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
Accession Number: 1989.363.4

4 thoughts on “Visited by words

  1. Dawn D. McKenzie

    I remember walking the streets of Yangshuo, watching as people, older men most often, practiced their calligraphy skills on the ground with water on huge paintbrushes. Instant art that disappeared in a few minutes…
    And then the man who divined a landscape in front of your eyes, with nothing but black ink on a long silk roll, and once finished, signed in a few well-placed strokes with his name, proudly, as he should, his face split in a flamboyant smile.
    I was grateful to be witness to such beauty and skill

    Reply
  2. Dawn D. McKenzie

    Reblogged this on Dawn's Nights and commented:
    I remember walking the streets of Yangshuo, watching as people, older men most often, practiced their calligraphy skills on the ground with water on huge paintbrushes. Instant art that disappeared in a few minutes…
    And then the man who divined a landscape in front of your eyes, with nothing but black ink on a long silk roll, and once finished, signed in a few well-placed strokes with his name, proudly, as he should, his face split in a flamboyant smile.
    I was grateful to be witness to such beauty and skill.

    Reply

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